Donald Trump's Anti-Mexico Controversy Unites Latin Stars
The fallout from Donald Trump's anti-Mexico rhetoric continues, with artists slowly rallying in response to what they deem as a slap in the face to all Latinos. And the controversy is far from over.
On Friday (June 26) -- reacting to the news that Univision had ended its business relationship to his Miss Universe organization based on what it called "insulting remarks about Mexican immigrants" -- Trump sent a provocative letter to the network's CEO Randy Falco, in which he prohibits Falco and all Univision employees from using his Trump National Doral Miami resort, "its golf courses or any of its facilities."
The day before, Trump took to Twitter in an attempt to clarify that in his controversial presidential-bid speech on June 16 he merely wanted to "expose the terrible trade deals that the U.S. makes with Mexico." In one of his tweets he even went so far as to say "I love Mexico."
But that wasn't enough for Hollywood star Roselyn Sanchez, who, along with Cristian de la Fuente, pulled out of hosting duties for the July 12 Miss USA pageant amid the controversy, as did Colombian reggaeton star J Balvin the day before, citing similar reasons. "Although I am not Mexican, I am Puerto Rican and a proud Latina, and his comments were an insult to our culture," Sanchez said in a statement on June 25. "I won't sponsor anything produced by Donald Trump."
The latest reactions come after Mexican rock band Maná had seemingly stood alone last week as the only high-profile Latin act to speak publicly and passionately on the issue, denouncing Trump's remarks at a Los Angeles concert.
As of Friday, the outpouring was still underwhelming. Perhaps many celebrities feel that celebrating the Supreme Court's ruling on same-sex marriage fulfilled their quota on social causes for the day.
Whichever the case, here are some artists who have chosen to speak out against Trump, whether on social media or via exclusive statements to Billboard.
Billboard has reached out to many more artists in hopes of hearing back and will continue to update this post as those reactions come in.
Juanes stood by his fellow Colombian J Balvin and congratulated him on his decision to pull out of the Miss USA pageant. In his tweet, he also demanded respect for Mexico and all of Latin America.
Since announcing his decision, Balvin posted an image showing unity among all Latinos.
Banda singer Chiquis Rivera sent this emailed statement to Billboard: “In my personal and humble opinion I feel what Donald Trump said was irresponsible and disrespectful to ALL nationalities. Not just Mexicans. Especially with all that's been happening recently in our country regarding race issues. A man in leadership, or seeking any type of leadership should strive for EQUALITY and PEACE, NOT bring more animosity to an already touchy subject, and for that reason I feel it was very irresponsible of Donald Trump to express himself in such a manner. At the end of the day it's important to remember, 'United we stand, divided we fall.' Fruit for thought when voting in this coming election.”
Cuban music mogul Emilio Estefan said it succinctly in a statement to Billboard, " An attack on the Mexican community is an attack on all the Hispanic communities in the United States."
Los Angeles-based Chilean-American singer Francisca Valenzuela told Billboard: "A candidate for US President cannot stand in such a powerful position and generalize and offend a whole region of the world, plus communities and people in his own country and base foreign and immigration policies and visions on fear. Trump has been crazily irresponsible, violent and ignorant."
Television personality Jorge Bernal, host of Telemundo's La Voz Kids, sent this statement to Billboard: “Mr. Donald Trump’s attempts to be controversial and provocative backfired and now is when he is going to see the power, the intelligence, and the unity of all Latinos.”
Mexico's Banda El Recodo took a more conciliatory tone, telling Billboard, “People can think Americans are arrogant. When people in Mexico hear comments like that, they could think all Americans are racist. But that’s not the case. We laugh at Donald Trump’s comments. How can you speak like that about Mexicans? Or Hispanics?”
Recalling the 2004 film A Day Without a Mexican, DJ Camilo Lara of Mexican Institute of Sound invited Trump’s Latin [service] employees to boycott the Trump Towers for a day. “Surely in a day it would result in chaos,” Lara told Billboard. “That’s a good example of the importance of our community in the United States. It’s sad to know that Trump has made a big part of his fortune from the sweat of thousands of Mexicans. These construction workers and employees have built his empire.”
Grammy winner Lila Downs spoke with Billboard from her home in Mexico: “Education is such an important thing. If this man had been better educated I think that he wouldn’t be as bigoted. It seems to me that he’s just a millionaire and that is his point in life. It’s so sad when that is what so many people strive for. He represents that. He’s showing the true colors of a lot of people, unfortunately, that think the way that he does in the U.S. and so, in a way, it’s good to see it in its truth. It’s not only happening to the Mexican American community, it’s happening to the African American community as well right now.”
Arthur Hanlon tweeted that he's having the best time ever recording in Mexico.