Reggaeton star Bad Bunny has paused his European tour to join protests in his native Puerto Rico aimed at ousting its governor.
Messages from a private group chat leaked over the weekend (July 13-14, 2019), showed the U.S. territory’s governor Ricardo Rossello, making offensive comments about New York politician Melissa Mark-Viverito and homophobic remarks about the singer Ricky Martin.
The comments have sparked protests on the island, which was badly hit by hurricanes in 2017, ones Bad Bunny, real name Benito Ocasio, is planning to drop everything to join.
In an Instagram video, he announced he would be leaving Ibiza, Spain, where he has been part of a residency featuring Latin acts, to return to Puerto Rico, and invited others to join protests starting at 5pm local time on Wednesday.
“I want to pay my respects to all the people who have always had the bravery, courage and initiative to go out into the streets and fight for the sake of our country,” the 25-year-old said.
Fellow Latin artist Residente is expected to join the march, and Ricky Martin has called on the governor to resign due to his insulting remarks, in which he wrote: “Nothing says patriarchal oppression like Ricky Martin. He is such a male chauvinist that he f**ks men because women don’t measure up.”
Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda, who is also of Puerto Rican heritage, has also criticized the governor’s administration over the scandal.
Two officials have already resigned over the scandal, sparked by the publication of more than 800 pages of text chats from the encrypted messaging app Telegram. Governor Rossello is refusing to step down, however, despite apologizing for his conduct.
Bad Bunny was due to perform two gigs in the Canary Islands later this week, as well as at Barcelona’s Sonar festival, dates that are now in doubt.