Univi­sion cuts ties to Trump

Media gi­ant says the mogul made ‘ in­sult­ing re­marks’ about Mex­i­can im­mi­grants.

Los Angeles Times - - COMPANY TOWN - By Meg James meg.james@latimes.com

Span­ish- lan­guage media gi­ant Univi­sion Com­mu­ni­ca­tions has cut busi­ness ties with Don­ald Trump, say­ing the real es­tate mogul made “in­sult­ing re­marks” about Mex­i­can im­mi­grants when he an­nounced that he was run­ning for pres­i­dent.

Univi­sion said Thurs­day that it would not broad­cast the Miss USA pageant on July 12 as sched­uled. It plans to sever its re­la­tion­ship with the Miss Uni­verse Or­ga­ni­za­tion, which is part- owned by Trump.

The furor started last week when Trump kicked off his pres­i­den­tial cam­paign and, in a wide- rang­ing speech, blasted U. S. ef­forts to se­cure the U. S.- Mexico bor­der.

“The U. S. has be­come a dump­ing ground for ev­ery­body else’s prob­lems,” Trump told sup­port­ers dur­ing his June 16 cam­paign an­nounce­ment. “When Mexico sends its peo­ple, they’re not send­ing their best.”

“They’re send­ing peo­ple that have lots of prob­lems. ... They’re bring­ing drugs. They’re bring­ing crime. They’re rapists,” said Trump, who then added: “And some, I as­sume, are good peo­ple.”

Lati­nos make up 17% of the U. S. pop­u­la­tion, ac­cord­ing to U. S. Cen­sus f ig­ures. Two- thirds of the more than 54 mil­lion Lati­nos in the U. S. are Mex­i­can im­mi­grants or they can trace their an­ces­try to Mexico.

“At Univi­sion, we see f irst- 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 com­pany said in its state- ment.

“We will not be air­ing the Miss USA pageant on July 12 or work­ing on any other projects tied to the Trump or­ga­ni­za­tion.”

Univi­sion de­clined to com­ment on the f inan­cial im­pli­ca­tions of fail­ing to fulf ill its com­mit­ments to the Miss Uni­verse Or­ga­ni­za­tion.

The net­work in Jan­uary signed a new f ive- year deal for Span­ish- lan­guage broad­cast rights for the Miss Uni­verse and Miss USA pageants, which have per­formed par­tic­u­larly well on Span­ish- lan­guage TV net­works.

Univi­sion had al­ready paid the $ 2.5- mil­lion fee to cover its obli­ga­tions this year for the pageant rights, ac­cord­ing to a per­son fa­mil­iar with the ar­range­ment who was not au­tho­rized to pub­licly dis­cuss de­tails. The f ive- year con­tract with the Miss Uni­verse Or­ga­ni­za­tion was val­ued at more than $ 13 mil­lion.

Trump could file a breach of con­tract law­suit against Univi­sion.

“We in­tend to pur­sue all le­gal rights and reme­dies avail­able to us pur­suant to the terms of the li­cense agree­ment,” said Michael Co­hen, Trump’s spe­cial coun­sel. He added that Trump’s com­ments were not about Mex­i­can im­mi­grants, but were in­tended to shine a spotlight on short­com­ings in U. S. immigration poli­cies and en­force­ment.

Trump also has sought to clar­ify his re­marks, say­ing that he has great re­spect for Mexico and its peo­ple.

“I have many suc­cess­ful busi­ness re­la­tion­ships with Mex­i­can com­pa­nies and em­ploy, and am close friends with, many Mex­i­can peo­ple,” Trump said in a writ­ten state­ment. “The dis­ap­point­ment I ex­pressed re­lates to our in­com­pe­tent politi­cians and their failed trade and immigration poli­cies.”

Trump on Thurs­day ac­cused the Mex­i­can gov­ern­ment of putting pres­sure on Univi­sion, the largest Span­ish- lan­guage media com­pany in the U. S., to back out of its deal with the Miss Uni­verse Or­ga­ni­za­tion. Mex­i­can en­ter­tain­ment be­he­moth Grupo Tele­visa is a part owner of the pri­vately held Univi­sion.

“Mex­i­can lead­er­ship has been do­ing se­ri­ous dam­age to the United States by out-ne­go­ti­at­ing our rep­re­sen­ta­tives,” Trump said. “They are tak­ing our jobs, tak­ing our money and at the same time killing us at the bor­der with il­le­gals from all over the world freely f low­ing into our coun­try.”

NBC holds the English­language rights to the two pageants and has not de­cided whether to go for­ward with the July 12 broad­cast.

One Latin mu­sic star, J Balvin, who was sched­uled to per­form dur­ing the Miss USA pageant, has al­ready dropped out of the show.

J Balvin “can no longer in good con­science agree to take part in an event that is over­seen by and cre­ates a profit for Don­ald Trump while Mr. Trump at­tacks the hard­work­ing Latino im­mi­grant com­mu­nity with hate­ful po­lit­i­cal rhetoric,” a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the artist said.

Univi­sion News and the lo­cal news­rooms at Univi­sion ra­dio and TV sta­tions would con­tinue to pro­vide cov­er­age of pres­i­den­tial can­di­dates, in­clud­ing Trump, the com­pany said. No de­ci­sion has been made on whether Trump would be in­cluded in any po­lit­i­cal de­bates that Univi­sion has been or­ga­niz­ing.

Richard Drew As­so­ci­ated Press

“THE U. S. has be­come a dump­ing ground for ev­ery­body else’s prob­lems,” Don­ald Trump told sup­port­ers dur­ing his June 16 cam­paign an­nounce­ment. “When Mexico sends its peo­ple, they’re not send­ing their best.”

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