Univision’s Premios Juventud award show Thursday turned into a platform for celebrities to call for the resignation of the embattled governor of Puerto Rico.
The show, which translates to “Youth Awards,” was held in Florida and honored the year’s most popular Latino artists, actors, designers and athletes.
Puerto Rican rapper, songwriter, actor and record producer Daddy Yankee took home the award for “Best Multitasker,” but used his time on stage to call for the resignation of Gov. Ricardo Rosselló.
“Puerto Rico is tired of the corruption, the abuse and the lies and the department of education is broken, we need to fix the system, please,” he said. “Let’s continue to protest but with intelligence. Demand your rights but with intelligence. Passive and without fear, we are hurt but we are brave. Let’s move forward Puerto Rico.”
It was a call echoed by many other artists who spoke out and others who said nothing but wore shirts with sayings like “Ricky Rosselló Renuncia”: Ricky Rosselló Resign.
Rosselló under fire
Protests against Rosselló have gone on for days in the US territory.
It began after Puerto Rico’s Center for Investigative Journalism published hundreds of chats between Rosselló and his inner circle, which show profanity-laced, homophobic and misogynistic messages about other politicians, members of the media, and celebrities.
The scandal has been dubbed “RickyLeaks” by many. The resulting protests, which have gone on for days, have become increasingly heated as police have fired tear gas at demonstrators.
The scandal has already led to the resignations of two members of Rosselló’s Cabinet, but Rosselló has said he will not step down.
“I have the commitment, stronger than ever, to carry out the public policy,” he said.
More celebrities join the call
Thursday’s show was not the first time Puerto Rican celebrities have spoken out against the governor.
Reggaeton artist Bad Bunny is leaving his European tour to join the protests.
“I live in Puerto Rico, my family lives in Puerto Rico, my friends,” he said in a video posted to Instagram. “What happens in Puerto Rico matters to me. …I’ll live in Puerto Rico until the day I die.”
Singer and actor Ricky Martin, whose sexuality was jeered in the leaked message by Puerto Rico’s chief fiscal officer at the time, tweeted Tuesday that he would be marching at the Capitol.
Also mentioned in the inflammatory chats was Lin-Manuel Miranda, who said in response that the governor tried to take credit for the money his show, “Hamilton,” raised for arts on the island.