How the Nury Martinez scandal strikes at the heart of Latino identity in the United States.
The most recent allegations of sexual harassment against comedian Nury Martinez began more or less as gossip, with both sides accusing each other of exaggerating. On social media, he is often cited as one of the most offensive members of comedy, having used a sexually charged word to describe women in the past. The comedian also had an “ode to women” about the time he spent in Puerto Rico. He is currently involved in legal cases in the state of Florida, where his lawyer, Carlos Martinez, is defending him in a sexual harassment suit brought forward by a former executive at his television show, Viceland. “All I know about is that he’s a stand-up comedian who’s supposed to be the ‘funniest man on the planet,’” she tells me. “I don’t know what his sexual orientation is, where he’s from, how he dresses. I know he’s a comedian, a very popular comedian. But that’s as far as I know. People have been coming forward saying that they have had inappropriate and uncomfortable sexual conversations with my boss, with Nury, and they are upset, and they are also scared about what that says about them as women, as human beings, and about what that means for their careers.”
As the accusations escalate, the most common reaction I hear from women in the comedy community is, “Do not come forward, don’t come forward, do not come forward.” These are women who are already nervous about being targets of predatory workplace practices. They are also wary of the legal risk that comes with coming forward. Others seem to believe that these allegations mean nothing. “Nury is a really, really funny comedian,” says one young woman. “There’s a lot of comedy that says stuff like this. So I don’t think she