The continuing blowback to Donald Trump’s comments that Mexicans are “rapists” and “drug dealers,” among other things, has grown to proportions Trump himself may not have anticipated, with pressure from Latino groups coming on very strong.
Soon after his remarks, which Trump made in announcing his presidential campaign, Univision Communications said it was canceling its broadcast of the Miss USA pageant, of which the Trump Organization is a joint owner with NBCUniversal.
Last Thursday, NBCUniversal initially distanced itself from Trump who is not only a business partner but also one of the network’s top reality stars but mounting pressure over the weekend from a coalition of Hispanic groups forced NBC to officially sever all ties with Trump.
The concerted effort to call on NBC to drop Trump was led by the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, which bills itself as “a coalition of the nation’s 39 prominent Latino organizations [that] leads the advocacy behind the pressing civil rights and policy issues impacting the 54 million Latinos living in the United States.” Its members include business, media and cultural advocacy groups like the National Council of La Raza, the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the National Hispanic Media Coalition. The National Association of Hispanic Journalists joined in as well.
Additionally, more than 215,000 people signed a Change.org petition demanding NBC end its relationship with Trump.
The actions were a display of unity and strength in the Latino community and proved the community is a force to reckon with in the national civil rights debate.
“All of us who describe ourselves as Hispanic Americans owe Donald Trump a debt of gratitude,” said longtime newsman and now Fox News contributor Rick Sanchez. “Why Because, he’s been able to do what nobody (and heaven knows many of us have tried) has ever been able to accomplish in America. Donald Trump has single-handedly united Latinos from coast to coast.”
The Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility will be holding a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday to address the issue and also respond to Trump’s comments.
While the Miss USA pageant, scheduled for July 12, has vowed to move forward as planned, even though neither Univision nor NBC will broadcast the event, its contestants and hosts have also been pulling out due to Trump’s comments and the mounting pressure.
Professional dancer Cheryl Burke announced Tuesday that she will no longer serve as co-host of Miss USA. “In light of the recent statements made by Donald Trump and the subsequent decision by NBC to cut ties with Mr. Trump, I cannot in good conscience move forward with participating in this year’s Miss USA Pageant as its co-host,” Burke wrote on Facebook.
For its part, the Miss Universe organization, which operates the Miss USA pageant, said in a statement Tuesday: “We are disheartened by recent events but the show will go on. We are moving forward, full-steam ahead as planned for the next two weeks, culminating in the crowning of a new Miss USA on July 12.”