Goya Foods, a brand that produces nonperishable goods and seasonings, is facing backlash via a widespread social media campaign urging people to boycott its products. The movement for the boycott comes after its CEO, Robert Unanue, praised President Donald Trump while visiting the White House, according to reports.
The hashtag #BoycottGoya is making the rounds on Twitter and other platforms, and public figures including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), former 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro, and actor George Takei, have gotten behind the movement.
“Today, it gives me great honor — and by the way, we’re all truly blessed at the same time to have a leader like President Trump, who is a builder. And that’s what my grandfather did. He came to this country [from Spain] to build, to grow, to prosper,” Unanue said at the White House. “And we pray. We pray for our leadership, our president. We pray for our country, that we will continue to prosper and to grow.”
Unanue made the remarks while attending a meeting of the Hispanic Prosperity Initiative. He later defended his words on Fox News, claiming that the boycott was a “suppression of speech.”
“I know consistency isn’t your thing, but pick a lane. Trump targeted Latinos on Day 1,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “Caged our kids. And you defend it.”
Castro also discussed the boycott and how legislators and constituents can support nonwhite communities while still boycotting Goya, including universal free school lunch and unionization of U.S. workers.
“I know some have suggested that calling for consumers not to buy Goya products is a suppression of free speech, but free speech works both ways. Goya and their CEO have every right to support whomever they wish, but each consumer also has the right to make a purchasing decision however they wish,” Castro told Eater. “And people decide whether to purchase a product based not only on how good your advertising makes them feel, but also on how your embrace of a bigoted president like Donald Trump makes them feel.”