Andrés Peralta, who is currently a candidate for the UDI (Independent Democratic Union of Chile), is under fire for a controversial political campaign video released on October 7th. The candidate, who is running for the position of regional advisor in the Arica and Parinacota region, offered an apology through Facebook after his video enraged hundreds of people.
The content of the video included a group of women, titled the “satisfaction girls,” who had the job of guaranteeing people “satisfaction” should they vote for their candidate. Within his apology, he declared how that was not the intention of the video and that it had only turned out that way as a mistake.
Claiming the video’s true purpose was to entertain people, Peralta and his communications team clearly missed the mark. The original video was taken down once it became clear that the reaction would not be a positive one, but the damage had already been done. Among those with the strongest reactions to the video was Jacqueline Castillo, Director of the National Service for Women and Gender Equality, who operates in the same region Peralta was advertising for his candidacy.
Castillo, among hundreds of others on Facebook and other social media, came together to announce the video and the candidate as sexist, misogynistic, and a reinforcement of those negative attitudes so often seen towards women in Latin American countries.
In his apology, Peralta claimed that he has always been “for women,” but many responded by saying this was a false apology with no meaning. Even within his own video it is clear to see he did not take any of it too seriously, as he jokes about how he needed to re-film the video due to being interrupted by a phone call.
By joking about this behavior, it only reinforces what hundreds have been saying about the candidate: he is not taking seriously the scope of what he released on Facebook, and needs to take ownership of the damage he caused to his own base and the community he is hoping to serve, as well as the Chilean community at large.
The party he is running for, a self-proclaimed right-wing Conservative party has not released any comment about the content of this video, but it will be interesting to see how the rest of his campaign continues.