Univision, the largest American Spanish-language network, announced it won’t televise Donald Trump’s annual Miss USA pageant next month after the Republican candidate made some stinging comments on immigration during his 2016 presidential campaign launch speech last week.
Referring to Trump’s “insulting remarks about Mexican immigrants,” the broadcast network also severed its business ties with the Miss Universe Organization, which Trump partly owns, The Associated Press reported.
In a statement released to Entertainment Weekly, Univision wrote, “At Univision we see first-hand the work ethic, love for family, strong religious values and the important role Mexican immigrants and Mexican-Americans have had and will continue to have in building the future of our country. We will not be airing the Miss USA pageant on July 12 or working on any other projects tied to the Trump Organization.”
When Trump announced his run for president last week, he suggested the erection of a “great wall” on the southern border to prevent illegal immigration from Mexico to the United States. He also said that Mexico should be forced to pay for it. Last but not least, he claimed Mexican immigrants bring drugs and crime to the US.
Surely, Univision didn’t take his remarks lightly. The network is owned by Univision Communications, a company that takes pride in its Latino culture. “Our brand embodies the spirit and innate values of Hispanic culture: passion, courage, ingenuity, tenacity,” Univision Communication wrote on its site. “We have a focus that resonates with the diverse Hispanic community – at UCI, in America and beyond.”
Trump’s comments kindled a backlash that will make it difficult for him to win over Latino voters and other immigrants who may have taken offense. Several Mexican-American immigrant groups criticized Trump, while both of the pageant’s co-hosts pulled out of the show Thursday, the Associated Press reported. Colombian singer J Balvin also canceled a planned performance on the pageant.
Mexico's interior minister, Miguel Angel Osorio Chong, wasn’t impressed either. “The remarks by Donald Trump seem biased and absurd,” he wrote in a statement. Many have turned to platforms like Twitter and Instagram to boast their Hispanic heritage and respond to Trump's claims with the hashtag #Iamnotacriminal.
Yet Trump keeps striking back, blaming the media for taking his comments out of context and claiming he was criticizing the US’s existing immigration policies rather than Mexican immigrants themselves.