When Donald Trump launched his bid for the White House, he made that now famous remark about Mexican immigrants calling them rapists and drug dealers. What Donald Trump said was meant to appeal those in the right fringes of the American politics by playing on their fears and worries. Trump’s recklessness and foot in mouth moment never factored in that he could offend a lot of people. He just want to rattle the cages for his political advantage.
What he will gain from politics (at least in the Republican nomination where his numbers are now just behind Jeb Bush) could probably not offset what he has to lose on business. First, it was the Univision, a Spanish language TV station in the US, that fired Trump declaring they won’t air the Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants. Then NBC followed suit. The Farouk Systems, a hair care company that is a major sponsor of Trump’s pageants, also announced that they are severing their business relationships with Trump. Now, it is Mexico’s biggest TV network, Grupo Televisa, that kicked Trump out. Reading the content of Televisa’s press release, it looks like Mexico will no longer participate at Miss Universe.
Trump however refused to apologize. In his recent public appearance in Chicago, he seems to change his tone by describing Mexicans in a positive way but he still stands by what he said. As the future of Miss USA (finals on July 12) and Miss Universe hang in balance, Trump remains defiant. But has he miscalculated his moves? Perhaps, but he is fighting back. He is planning to sue Univision, which he claims to have apologized to him and NBC. He might sue Grupo Televisa as well for breach of contract.
What would be interesting is when other Latin American countries would join in solidarity with their Mexican counterparts. That would surely be a big blow to the Miss Universe pageant. As what is often mentioned in this website, Missosology was founded on the premise that politics has a role in beauty pageants. In this case, Trump simply took a large heap of politics and dumped it all over beauty pageants. He took his xenophobic politics to a higher level and offended the whole Latino community. What is ironic though is that the current Miss USA and Miss Universe winners are all Latinas.
So what will happen to Miss Universe? Will the pageant still push through behind all the dramas? Somewhere, Paula Shugart is in panic/damage control mode. But the damage is done and perhaps the only way to undo it is for Trump drop ownership of the two pageants. That is the only viable solution. After all, if he wins the American presidency, he still has to do it.