By the time MTV's new show, Siesta Key, premiered on Monday night, it had already stirred up tons of controversy. A video had surfaced showing what appeared to be the reality show's star, Alex Kompothecras, and other men dragging a shark behind a boat. A Facebook group was set up to boycott the show and protest its premiere screening in Sarasota, Florida. This eventually led to alleged death threats that forced the screening's cancellation. All the while, MTV was completely silent.
Finally, both MTV and Alex Kompothecras have come forward to refute the claims.
“We’ve spoken to Alex and many others at length, and it’s clear that he was not on the boat nor played any role in this incredibly disturbing incident,” an MTV spokesperson said in a statement to People Magazine. “We hope the serious threats unfairly being made against Alex and the other cast members – for something they had absolutely nothing to do with – stop.”
Kompothecras and his family claim that they victims of hate and harassment during this time.
“I got some horrific comments,” Kompothecras said. “My mom took it the hardest. She sobbed for three days in a row because she was scared for me. I couldn’t even go outside to walk my dog. It’s been hectic and scary.”
Now that Kompothecras has been cleared for this incident, the pressure should let up. But there is still the matter of his own since-deleted Instagram video. It shows another man shooting a gun at a shark in the water.
“There are images of me harming some animals and I feel horrible,” Kompothecras explained to People. “I am embarrassed and it won’t happen again.”
He went on: “I’ve made my share of bad decisions and I feel horrible, but all I can say is that I would not make those decisions again.”
Refinery29 has reached out to MTV for a comment on the and will update this story if and when we hear back.
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