Donald Trump — thankfully, there are consequences to making disrespectful comments about Latinos and you are getting backlash where it matters — in your wallet. Your Miss USA host, recording artist J. Balvin and other Latino stars will no longer participate in the Miss USA pageant. Good for them!
Donald Trump, when you made your announcement that you were running for president on June 16, you got more attention than even you bargained for, but not for the reason that you anticipated. That’s because you used your speech to insult Mexico, Mexicans and Mexican-Americans, with your choice remarks. “[Mexico is] sending people that have lots of problems, and they are bringing those problems to us. They are bringing drugs, and bringing crime, and their rapists,” Trump declared.
Trump also promised to build a “great wall” on the Mexican-American border, and then made the bizarre promise that Mexico would pay for it. To say that Trump’s comments were offensive is an understatement, but they are also undiplomatic and a major shot in the foot of his own campaign. First of all Donald — Mexico is the United States’ 2nd largest trading partner after Canada. We export $240 billion worth of goods there, making Mexico, a huge customer for our country.
Donald- you’re a businessman. Do you really think it’s great business practice to attack your second biggest business partner? There are also 31.8 million Mexican-Americans — they account for 10% of the U.S. population. So in one speech, you’ve offended 10% of the U.S. population. That’s a lot of votes! Plus, Hispanic Americans comprise 54 million people and constitute 17 percent of the U.S. population. You’ve likely offended most of that additional group as well.
Starting off your presidential campaign with nasty, divisive comments about a huge part of your potential constituents doesn’t showcase the kind of diplomacy most Americans would like to see in their commander-in-chief. And it also doesn’t demonstrate your business smarts. You clearly didn’t anticipate how slamming Latinos would have major repercussions for a big Trump moneymaker — the Miss USA pageant.
Hispanic-focused TV network Univision just dropped the July 12 Miss USA pageant from its broadcasting schedule. The company announced that it had ended its entire partnership with the Miss Universe Organization “based on his recent, insulting remarks about Mexican immigrants,” said their statement. They will not be “working on any future projects tied to the Trump organization”. Bye bye, Donald!
Not only that, the two co-hosts for the Miss USA show pulled out — Puerto Rican actress Roselyn Sanchez, who stars in Lifetime’s Devious Maids, and Chilean actor Cristian de la Fuente. De la Fuente didn’t mince words: “It’s a shame that such an important institution as Miss USA is now in the hands of a clown,” de la Fuente said. “Since I heard Trump’s speech, as a Latina I felt a lump in my stomach,” explained Sanchez.
I bet you did.
Now, hot Colombian singer J. Balvin has cancelled his planned performance in the show, and he took the opportunity to put Trump on well-deserved blast. “It was going to be my first performance on national [mainstream] television,” Balvin told Billboard. “But we’re talking about our roots, our culture, our values. This isn’t about being punitive, but about showing leadership through social responsibility. His comments weren’t just about Mexicans, but about all Latins in general. Mexico is a Latin powerhouse. And Mexicans, they’re known as hard workers. Here in the U.S., not everybody wants to do those kinds of jobs. I’ve lived. I know what it feels like and what they go through and how families suffer. A comment like that is powerful.”
Balvin is totally right — comments like Trump’s are powerful, and in the most negative way. He’s reinforcing the worst stereotypes of Mexicans. And he’s running for president! This country is already suffering from far too many racial divides and racist violence. We’re reeling from the racially motivated Charleston Church massacre, and police shootings of black men and boys from Baltimore to Ferguson, Missouri, in recent months.
The last thing this 2016 presidential race needs is Donald Trump, 69, starting his candidacy by attacking millions of Hispanic Americans, and one of our neighboring countries by making inflammatory comments. Thank you, Univision, Rosalyn, Cristian, and J. Balvin for standing up to offensive remarks that have no place in America, let alone in the presidential race!
UPDATE — NBC issued this statement on June 29:
Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump. To that end, the annual Miss USA and Miss Universe Pageants, which are part of a joint venture between NBC and Trump, will no longer air on NBC. In addition, as Mr. Trump has already indicated, he will not be participating in “The Apprentice” on NBC. “Celebrity Apprentice” is licensed from Mark Burnett’s United Artists Media Group and that relationship will continue.
Celebrity Apprentice will continue, but Trump has been fired from appearing on it. He stands by his comments, and Mexico has stated that they will not be sending a contestant for this year’s Miss Universe pagaent.
Do you agree, HollywoodLifers? Let me know.
— Bonnie Fuller