Univision Dropping Miss USA Pageant over Trump Comments

Frazier Moore, ABC News, June 25, 2015

Univision is dropping the Miss USA pageant and says it will cut all business ties with Donald Trump in a spiraling controversy over comments the Republican presidential candidate made recently about Mexican immigrants.

The company said Thursday it would pull the plug on its Spanish-language coverage of the pageant July 12 by its UniMas network. It also has severed its business relationship with the Miss Universe Organization, which produces the Miss USA pageant, due to what it called “insulting remarks about Mexican immigrants” by Trump, a part owner of Miss Universe.

During his presidential campaign kickoff speech last week, Trump portrayed immigrants from Mexico as “bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.” He also called for building a wall along the southern border of the U.S. {snip}

In an interview Thursday, Trump said his criticism was directed against U.S. policymakers, not the Mexican people or government, adding that Univision would be defaulting on its contract if it doesn’t air the pageant and he would take legal action.

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Trump said Univision is submitting to pressure from Mexican leaders to punish him for positions he voices as a candidate on the campaign trail.

“They don’t want me saying that Mexico is killing the United States in trade and killing the United States at the border,” Trump said. “Univision is totally laying down for the Mexican government. . . . They want to silence Donald Trump. And Donald Trump can’t be silenced. . . . I have great respect for Mexico and I love the Mexican people, but my loyalty is to the United States.”

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Miss California USA Natasha Martinez was asked about Trump’s comments during an interview Thursday on Los Angeles TV station KCAL and said they were “a little bit tough to hear. But I know that this opportunity for me as Miss California-USA, and now competing for Miss USA, is a great bridge to kind of represent my community and let the world know that I am a proud Latino-American.”

This year’s UniMas telecast would have been the first in a five-year contract that Trump said “has no termination rights.” Univision’s wholly owned Spanish-language UniMas network, founded in 2013, is available in 70 million U.S. homes.

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