Friday, September 19, 2014

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Soap Star Pulled From Puerto Rican Day Parade

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TWC News: Soap Star Pulled From Puerto Rican Day Parade
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Actor Osvaldo Rios has pulled out of the Puerto Rican Day Parade.

Rios was selected to be the parade's Godfather, but critics called for a boycott of the parade because Rios has a history of domestic violence.

At least one invited guest dropped out in protest.

"This is very, very good news for the parade, for domestic violence as an issue and for our city," said National Organization for Women NYC President Sonia Ossoria.

Rios is best known for his work in Spanish-language soap operas.

He was convicted on a domestic violence charge in 2003 and spent three months in a Puerto Rican prison.

He released a statement saying he withdrew because he did not want to divide the community.

Congresswoman Nydia Velasquez called the decision by organizers to give Rios Godfather status inappropriate and ill conceived.

"This is a way for him to say there's still a long journey in his recovery, in his process of understanding that domestic violence is wrong," Velasquez said.

Over the past few weeks, Parade organizers defended their selection of Rios, saying he's a popular star who deserved the honor. They also said he had apologized for his actions and paid his debt to society.

The 53rd annual Puerto Rican Day Parade kicks off at 11 a.m. Sunday.

It goes up Fifth Avenue from 44th Street to 86th Street.

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