On Tuesday, Don Omar took advantage of the rumors that were swirling about a sex tape featuring Ozuna by launching some indirect homophobic slurs towards the Aura singer, who is a longtime rival. This week, allegations surfaced claiming Ozuna appeared in a pornographic video involving two other men; in 2017, Ozuna filed a complaint with the FBI alleging that late queer trapero Kevin Fret was blackmailing the Aura singer over the video. On Wednesday, Ozuna confirmed his appearance in the video. Through a statement released by his manager Vincente Saavedra, Ozuna said he was underage in the video and that it was “an error from the past.”
Don Omar’s initial comments on Tuesday inspired a backlash that even included Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, as well as Bad Bunny. Yesterday, the rey de reggaeton posted a message on both Instagram and Twitter. “Lunch break? Any of you eat ?? Not me,” a reference to the anti-gay slur “pato.” Don Omar also shared a video of a duck humping a teddy bear in his Instagram stories; fans immediately identified both comments as homophobic references to Ozuna, since the Aura singer’s logo is also a teddy bear.
“We still have many battles so that those who have narrow minds and spirts learn to respect diversity,” wrote San Juan mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz in a retweet of Omar’s comment. “We carry on. As Olga Tañon told us this weekend, there are more of us who are good.” The comment was a reference to the merengue legend’s recent statements against Puerto Rican xenophobia towards Venezuelan immigrants.
Even Bad Bunny chimed into the conversation on Twitter. “Homophobia in this day and age? How embarrassing, loco.”
The rivalry between Don Omar and Ozuna has roots in a 2016 interview in which el rey de reggaeton commented that though he was not against anyone who makes trap, he considers the genre too explicit to warrant making any of the music himself. Don Omar went so far to say that he was limiting his involvement in the genre out of respect for his daughter, who was 10 years old at the time. “He’s a huge talent and I respect him a lot,” Ozuna told Musica Latina TV the following year about Omar. “I feel like he doesn’t respect us.” Ozuna clarified that he would never record with Don Omar because of that lack of regard. Since then, the two have been openly hostile.
At the core of this controversy is the trivialization of the investigation of a queer artist’s murder. Pedro Julio Serrano, a prominent LGBTQ activist from San Juan, spoke out about the issue on Twitter. “No one could be so idiotic that they believe that [Don Omar] was referring to food. He made fun of a gay, murdered trapero and the speculations regarding a reggaetonero who alleged that he had been extorted.”
No internationally famous urbano artist has expressed condolences about Fret’s murder yet.