The female Televisa host who was fired after a video appearing to show a male co-host sexually harassing her went viral says she was pressured by the network to say the segment was a hoax.
In a statement issued Monday, Televisa Chihuahua, the largest Spanish-language multimedia company in Latin America, said they fired "A Toda Máquina" (ATM) co-hosts Tania Reza and Enrique Tovar Monday after an investigation into an alleged case of on-air sexual harassment determined that the segment was a hoax orchestrated by the co-hosts. The same day, both Tovar and Reza appeared to confirm the network’s statement, explaining in a video posted on Televisa’s YouTube channel that they remain good friends and never intended for their segment to go so far.
However, Reza’s personal Facebook page tells another story. The former host wrote translated from Spanish:
“Unfortunately in these situations there is pressure on the part of ‘businesses and other obligations to say’ (or even record a video saying) that I am guilty,” Reza wrote on Facebook Monday. "People [are] not taking responsibility for their actions. I've never been a coward, I've been in this company for 6 years. So, like I always say, WE HAVE TO MOVE FORWARD PEOPLE. And try to get the Truth to come out. If they force me to take this down at least I'll have put in on social media. THANK YOU EVERYONE WHO IS WITH ME and God is with us."
The response to Reza’s statement has been mostly positive. Many of Reza’s followers have come out in support of her, praising her bravery and encouraging the television personality to not let anyone pressure her into deleting her statement. Among them is Mexican Senator and president of the Senate’s Human Rights Commission Angélica de la Peña Gómez, who commented on Reza’s post to remind the TV personality that her statement reflects a larger societal problem; sexual harassment and violence against women is a pervasive problem in Mexico, especially in Ciudad Juarez, where ‘ATM’ is filmed. De la Peña Gómez said that she planned on raising the issue of gender-based violence in the Senate this week.
Though reliable government statistics regarding Mexico’s femicide pandemic are scarce, the data available confirms de la Peña Gómez's concerns. According to the National Citizen Femicide Observatory, six women are assassinated every day in Ciudad Juarez. Of the 3,892 femicides the group identified in 2012 and 2013, only 24 percent of them were investigated by authorities, and only 1.6 percent led to sentencing.
Regardless of what Reza, Tovar and Televisa have said via the network’s public platforms, these statistics are the very reason Reza’s personal statement cannot and should not be ignored or downplayed.
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