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News special outrages Pulse survivors

Univision plans 'Blood Bath' program on Saturday

ORLANDO, Fla. – Some survivors of the Pulse nightclub shooting say they are outraged over a news special set to air this weekend on the Spanish-language television network Univision.

Promotional videos for "Cronicas Sabado: Bano de Sangre" (Saturday Chronicles: Blood Bath) feature reenactments of the shooting on June 12 that claimed the lives of 49 people inside Pulse and injured 53 others.

They vividly show an actor playing gunman Omar Mateen shooting several people on the dance floor. Special effects create the illusion of bullets hitting people and blood splattering.

"I broke down. I started crying. I started shaking. It was too graphic," Pulse survivor Victor Baez said.

He said he didn't know what he was clicking on when he saw the video on social media on Thursday.
He said when he saw what it depicted, his heart sank.

"It took me to a very dark place," he said.  "It's very sensationalized. It's not OK."

"It was a horrific reenactment," said Deborah Whitely, who lost three friends in the Pulse shooting. "Disgusting. Disgusting."

News 6 asked Pulse owner Barbara Poma what she thought about the videos.

"I am sickened by Univision’s senseless act of exploitation, which is clearly a sleazy attempt to shock and attract viewers," she said. "This graphic reenactment of one of the most terrifying nights in modern American history, does nothing but re-terrorize the victims, their loved ones and all who responded to help. While so many other individuals and organizations have stepped up to help those who suffered, Univision has chosen to hurt them. This is shameful, just shameful."

News 6 sent her statement to Univision, and they responded.

"Univision has set out to create a report that is deeply respectful of the many people whose lives were impacted by this tragedy and, at the same time, is faithful to the facts underlying this horrible crime," Univision spokesperson Jose Zamora said.

Univision pulled the promotional videos from both their Twitter feed and their Facebook timeline, but they said the news special will still air on Saturday night.

A group made up of survivors, victims' families and friends has set up an online petition asking Univision not to air the program. You can find it here.

The Center released the following message:

"The Center is aware that a TV station will be airing a program containing re-enactments of the Pulse tragedy this coming Saturday evening.

"If by chance you see any clips of this program on the news and feel you not mentally in a safe place, we implore you to please call 911 immediately.

"If by chance you do happen on to, or see clips from this program and are triggered/affected and feel you need to speak to someone immediately, The Center, with the assistance of Lindsay Kincaide of Purposeful Path Counseling and Two Spirits have set up a hotline for you to speak with a counselor immediately.

"The number is 888-773-1665.

"This number is run through The Center but when you call you will automatically be routed to a counselor who will be standing by to speak with you. Know that this hotline will be open starting 12:00 noon Tomorrow, Saturday February 25 and run through midnight on Sunday, February 26.

"The Center has drop in counseling services available each day, and after Sunday, you can feel free to come into The Center and speak directly, face to face, with one of our counselors.

"Again, IF ARE AFFECTED, KNOW THAT CARING PEOPLE ARE STANDING BY TO TALK AND ASSIST YOU.

"We are here for you - The Center"


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