Miami, FL – November 19, 2023
Univision, the largest Spanish-language media company in the nation, is facing criticism for its recent interview with former President Donald Trump, sparking an increasing wave of discontent within the Latino community.
Major Latino advocacy groups, including UnidosUS Action, America’s Voice, and MALDEF, delivered a letter of protest to Univision’s executives on Friday, as members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus prepare to request a meeting with the network.
The controversy stems from a November 7 interview with Trump at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida, orchestrated with the assistance of Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner and attended by senior executives from Univision’s parent company.
The interview drew attention for its notably friendly tone, lack of follow-up questions, and Trump’s claim that the network’s owners “like me.”
This marked a stark departure from the historical tensions between Trump and Univision, causing concern among both Democrats and journalists within the network.
Actor and comedian John Leguizamo weighed in on the matter, posting a video on Instagram urging a boycott of Univision until it ceased rejecting Biden ads, some of which were canceled just before the Trump interview aired.
Univision, which announced a new policy preventing opposition advertising during single-candidate interviews shortly before the Trump interview, also canceled a booking with a Biden spokeswoman to respond to the interview on a subsequent news broadcast.
The fallout continued as León Krauze, a top anchor at Univision in Miami who hosted the late-night newscast, announced an abrupt separation from the network less than a week after the interview. While no reasons were provided for the split, concerns were raised about Univision veering away from its founding mission.
Joaquin Blaya, a former president of Univision, expressed worries that the network had deviated from its original purpose. Blaya, who hired Univision’s most famous anchor, Jorge Ramos, described the Trump interview as a regression and criticized it as “Mexican-style news coverage,” indicating a blending of business and news.
Wade Davis, one of the TelevisaUnivision executives present at the Mar-a-Lago meeting, addressed the controversy in a note to U.S. staff, emphasizing their commitment to covering candidates from all political parties and making Latinos a vital part of the electoral process.
In response to the growing discontent, more than 70 Latino groups, including the Hispanic Federation, have called for a thorough internal review by Univision, demanding corrective measures and a reaffirmation of its commitment to unbiased reporting.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is also drafting a letter to Univision, expressing concerns about the network’s journalistic standards and the dissemination of misinformation within the Latino community.
As the backlash intensified, Isaac Lee, the former chief news officer at Univision, expressed confidence that the journalists at Univision in Miami would cover the upcoming presidential race appropriately, emphasizing trust in their dedication to delivering unbiased news.
The controversy surrounding the Univision-Trump interview underscores the challenges faced by media outlets in balancing journalistic integrity, political neutrality, and community expectations. The outcome of these calls for investigation and boycotts may significantly impact Univision’s reputation as a credible news network within the Latino electorate.