Tags: Univision | Donald Trump | Miss Universe

Univision: Trump's Rhetoric 'Destroyed the Value' of Miss Universe Pageant

Image: Univision: Trump's Rhetoric 'Destroyed the Value' of Miss Universe Pageant
 

Friday, 04 Dec 2015 03:55 PM

Univision fired back at Donald Trump's $500 million lawsuit on Friday, saying that the presidential candidate's "invective" about Mexican immigrants made the Miss Universe Pageant "toxic" to the network's viewership.

Univision and NBC Universal dropped plans to broadcast the Miss Universe Pageant after Trump's June 16 presidential campaign announcement, citing comments he made about Mexican immigrants. Trump then sued Univision for breach of contract and defamation claims.

"Through his diatribe, Trump destroyed the value of those broadcast rights, and neither Trump nor Miss Universe did anything to repair the damage in the aftermath of his speech," Univision said in a motion to dismiss Trump's lawsuit. "The widespread outrage elicited by Trump's offense comments was especially acute for Univision's sponsors and predominantly Hispanic viewers, who made clear that they would not patronize a business connected with Trump."

The motion was filed in U.S. District Court in New York.

A spokeswoman for Trump did not immediately return a request for comment.

Univision's response also suggests that it has been singled out by Trump on the campaign trail, while many other companies also dropped business ties.

"Of all the companies that fired him, Trump has focused on Univision, the most prominent company with a Hispanic identity, and one of its executives, a Mexican immigrant," the response states. "In search of yet more headlines, Trump has touted this suit and his $500 million claim for damages on the campaign trail -- and barred Univision reporters from covering his events --- while his representatives have held it up as a warning to anyone who would criticize Trump."

Trump claims that Univision made a "purposeful effort to coerce, collude and/or conspire" with NBC executives to drop the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants.

He claims that despite being obligated to broadcast the Miss Universe Pageant, at a minimum, "NBC capitulated to Univision's threatened economic coercion and/or other improper and illegal tactics and means to terminate its relationship" with the Trump Organization.

Univision had a license to air Miss Universe and Miss USA for a total $13.5 million fee from 2015 to 2019, according to Trump's lawsuit.

In September Trump bought NBC's half of the Miss Universe Organization, and later sold assets to a group affiliated with William Morris Endeavor. Trump, however, retained the legal claim against Univision.

Univision cited his comments at his campaign announcement speech in which Trump said, "When Mexico sends its people they are not sending their best. They're not sending you. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems to us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people."

Univision contends that Trump's "careless stereotyping offended a broad swath of Univision's audience and was demonstrably harmful to the company." It sent a written notice of its termination on June 30.

Univision also called a defamation claim "frivolous." Trump had cited a Univision executive, Alberto Ciurana, who reposted an image of Trump and Charleston, S.C., shooter Dylann Roof side by side. It included the caption: "No comments."

"To a reasonable viewer, the reposted image conveys a tongue-in-cheek observation on Trump's appearance -- hardly novel, given that Trump has long been lampooned for his hairstyle. At most, the post could be constued as a criticism of Trump's extreme and controversial opinions on race and national origin."

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

   
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Univision fired back at Donald Trump's $500 million lawsuit on Friday, saying that the presidential candidate's invective about Mexican immigrants made the Miss Universe Pageant 'toxic' to the network's viewership.
Univision, Donald Trump, Miss Universe
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2015-55-04
Friday, 04 Dec 2015 03:55 PM
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