Donald Trump, real estate mogul and Republican presidential nominee hopeful, has filed a lawsuit against Spanish-language broadcaster Univision for $500-million after the company decided to opt out of broadcasting the Trump-owned Miss USA pageant.
Univision made the decision to sever ties with Mr. Trump following the now-notorious comments regarding Mexican immigrants made during the announcement of his candidacy on June 16. During the speech, he proclaimed, “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you,” adding, “They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
In the lawsuit filed on June 30, Trump accuses Univision’s decision to break its contract as part of a “thinly veiled” effort to stifle his First Amendment Rights that bears a direct relationship to his nascent presidential run– the complaint notes that a principal owner of Univison, Haim Saban, is a long-time Clinton supporter and current fundraiser for Hillary Clinton. The suit also accuses Univision (specifically President of Programming and Content Alberto Ciurana, who posted a now-deleted photo on Instagram that compared Trump to Charleston shooter Dylann Roof) of defamation as part of an effort to pit him against the Latino community.
For its part, Univision released a statement decrying the merits of Trump’s complaints, calling the lawsuit “both factually false and legally ridiculous.”
Univision is not the only business relationship jeopardized by Trump’s recent foray into politics. Trump’s talking points have alienated companies like Macy’s and NBC, which have both have cut ties to Trump (with NBC also refusing to air Miss USA).
Trump’s pageant empire and associated broadcasts have taken huge hits with Mexico withdrawing its Miss Universe candidate, the scramble to find a new broadcaster for Miss USA (Reelz will air the beauty pageant as of today), while Cheryl Burke and Thomas Roberts, slated hosts, have bowed out of participating in the telecast.