The fallout following Donald Trump’s insults against Mexican migrants during the announcement of his presidential candidacy last week continues.
Univision, the biggest Spanish-language television network in the United States, announced on Thursday that it was pulling out of its partnership with the Miss Universe Organization, whose major shareholder is the US billionaire and Republican contender, and canceling plans to broadcast its Miss USA beauty contest on July 12.
A large proportion of Univision’s viewers are Mexican migrants and people of Mexican descent living in the United States. The network has sided with Mexico, which described Trump’s remarks as “prejudicial and absurd.” Various Latin music stars and other performers have also slammed Trump for his offensive comments.
Univision has a large audience that includes Mexican migrants living in the United States
“Today, the entertainment division of Univision Communications Inc. announced that it is ending the company’s business relationship with the Miss Universe Organization, which is part-owned by Donald J. Trump, based on his recent, insulting remarks about Mexican immigrants,” the company said in a statement.
During his announcement on June 16, Trump claimed that migrants from Mexico and other Latin American countries are bringing drugs and crime in to the United States.
“They’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing their problems,” he said. “They're bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists, and some I assume are good people, but I speak to border guards and they tell us what we are getting.
“I will build a great, great wall on our southern border and I will make Mexico pay for that wall,” Trump added.
Immediately after the statement was released, Trump announced on several social media sites that he would sue Univision if the network cancels the Miss USA pageant.
He also accused the Mexican government of President Enrique Peña Nieto of pressuring the Spanish-language broadcaster into making its decision.
“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,” the broadcaster said in its statement. “We will not be airing the Miss USA pageant on July 12 or working on any other projects tied to the Trump Organization.”
In an interview with Fox News on Thursday Trump said he had a valid contract with Univision, which he hoped the broadcaster would honor.
“They can’t do this. Of course I have a signed contract: five years. They have to pay me almost $15 million,” he said, according to Reuters.
NBC, another TV network that broadcasts the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, also distanced itself from Trump’s comments soon after Univision released its statement on Thursday. However, NBC said it would not be canceling the July 12 telecast.
This was to be the first year that Univision would simultaneously broadcast both beauty contests to its Spanish-speaking audience after Trump signed the contract with the broadcaster in February. “Adding Univision as one of our major partners cannot be more exciting,” he said at the time.
Meanwhile, the Latino community in the United States, including major music artists, leaders and personalities, has applauded Univision’s decision.
Jorge Ramos, Univision’s main news anchor, who is also Mexican, wrote on Twitter: “Mr Trump: words matter. Univision won't broadcast his Miss Universe.”
Colombian singer J Balvin, who was scheduled to appear as a guest during the Miss USA contest, also wrote on Twitter before the Univision decision was made public that he was canceling his appearance.
“I am not a savior, nor am I Robin Hood. But in this case, I feel totally comfortable and responsible with my decision to cancel Miss USA,” he said.
Chilean actor Cristian de la Fuente and Puerto Rican actress Roselyn Sánchez also canceled their appearances as presenters on the show.