LOS ANGELES — For weeks, the Spanish-language media and bloggers have been working themselves into a lather about the sexual orientation of Daddy Yankee, the reggaeton king known for his pumped-up macho stage presence and raunchy musical declarations like “Gasolina.”
The blather reached a crescendo Wednesday after photos of a man resembling Daddy Yankee kissing another man surfaced on the Internet and were picked up and reprinted by other outlets. That set off another round of innuendo: According to some accounts, Daddy Yankee released a statement acknowledging that he is gay, and asking the media to respect his and his family’s privacy.
“I am a human being like any other, with virtues and defects, and I don’t believe that this is a defect,” he was quoted as saying in a putative “statement” to the press and his followers.
But according to other reports, the 36-year-old singer born Ramon Ayala used a press conference to castigate the rumor mill for spreading falsehoods. “Now, again to you ignorant ones: the Internet is where the lies become truth and truth becomes myth. Wake up, bobo!”
The speculation and rumor-mongering started spreading after Daddy Yankee was asked at a press conference his opinion on gay marriage. The rapper responded in Spanish that, “I have people on my team who are gay, and I respect them entirely and give them work.” As for gay marriage, he believes it’s a matter for governments and religious figures to settle, taking full regard of human rights.
An agency identifying itself as Daddy Yankee’s publicist has refuted rumors that the Puerto Rican reggaeton artist had publicly acknowledged he is gay.
Wednesday afternoon, the offices of Nevarez Communications and Perfect Partners in Florida issued a statement that reports circulating throughout various social media outlets regarding the artist’s sexual orientation were completely false.
The statement contained a quote attributed to Mayna Nevarez, president of the public relations firm Nevarez Communications:
“Online blogs and social media are once again to blame for the spread of false news reports, which other media outlets have also shared regarding a public figure. The reports circulating regarding Daddy Yankee’s declaration of homosexuality was falsely written by an online outlet known for fabricating false information and spreading it through social media sites.”
©2013 Los Angeles Times