Donald Trump, a Republican presidential candidate, is suing Univision. The Spanish-language TV network dropped its coverage of Miss USA and Miss Universe — two beauty pageants that Trump co-owns — because of Trump’s remarks about Mexican immigrants during his presidential campaign announcement on June 16. NBCUniversal also dropped the pageant programming.
NPR’s Andrew Limbong reports that Trump is seeking $500 million, and that in the suit, Trump claims Univision is attempting to suppress his freedom of speech.
Here’s an excerpt from The Trump Organization’s statement:
“Under the contract, Univision is required to broadcast the pageant live on television in Spanish. While Univision claims its decision came solely in response to comments by Mr. Trump during a June 16 campaign speech announcing his candidacy for President of the United States, the decision was, in reality, a politically motivated attempt to suppress Mr. Trump’s freedom of speech under the First Amendment as he begins to campaign for the nation’s presidency.”
In an email to Politico, Univision spokesperson Monica Talan called the complaint “both factually false and legally ridiculous.” She adds:
“We will not only vigorously defend the case, but will continue to fight against Mr. Trump’s ongoing efforts to run away from the derogatory comments he made on June 16th about Mexican immigrants. Our decision to end our business relationship with Mr. Trump was influenced solely by our responsibility to speak up for the community we serve.”
NPR’s Greg Allen reported on Trump’s comments last week:
” ‘When do we beat Mexico at the border?’ Trump said during his lengthy presidential announcement speech at Trump Tower in New York. ‘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.’ ”
Trump continues to defend what he said. Tuesday’s statement quotes him in part saying, “There is a high level of crime occurring in this country due to unchecked illegal immigration. This is a major security issue for the United States.”
You can read more about Donald Trump and his campaign for the presidency here.