Reality show ‘Siesta Key’ premiere parties cancelled amid shark dragging controversy

SIESTA KEY, Fla. (WFLA) – Premiere parties were cancelled. A Facebook page is calling for a boycott. 

The premiere of the reality show “Siesta Key” is getting negative publicity after activists connected one of the show’s stars to men in the infamous “shark dragging” video.

Co-produced by well-known Sarasota chiropractor, Dr. Gary Kompothecras, and starring his son, Alex, Siesta Key follows young people living it up over a summer in the resort village.

There are plenty of fans ready to tune in.

“I think I’m probably gonna start watching it,” said Rod Rigo.

“I saw a Snapchat and I think it looks pretty lit,” said Brian Dao.

Related: 2nd shocking shark abuse video being investigated by FWC

“I think it’s kind of cool, because it’s supposed to be like, one of the number one beaches,” said Zack Fairly.

“I thought it be a beach show with girls,” said Paul Myers.

But, there are reports one of the young stars is buddies with the men behind the shark dragging video that came to light last week.

His connection may have caused promoters to cancel a premier party at a Sarasota movie theater, and prompted a Facebook protest page calling for a boycott of the show.

“I thought they should not be able to get away with being on TV to become more famous, to attract more followers to the social media pages,” said Ashley Midey, co-author of the Facebook page.

Siesta Key’s beaches are world famous and the village area attracts a crowd even in the off season, but the shark video is also a worldwide phenomenon.

“I think the fact that people dragged a shark behind a boat is just, I don’t know, I don’t know words for that, I think that is such abuse,” said Ellis Pimonte.

Pimonte is a part-time resident and doesn’t plan to be a fan of the new show.

“I think the show is awful. It won’t do our island any good. We have enough people coming and we don’t need any more,” she said.

The online petition is asking the FWC to impose community service and jail time for the men behind the shark video.

As it stands now, the FWC has not arrested or charged anybody.

The state agency has video and plenty of photos to go over.

Follow Peter Bernard on Facebook

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