This is truly painful since I am neither a fan of Donald Trump or beauty pageants, but here it is: Is it possible that the actions taken against not just Donald Trump but his business associations are excessive? NBC has issued a statement that it will no longer air the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants and that Trump will no longer participate in “The Celebrity Apprentice.” (Univision previously banned the pageant as did Televise. Mexico swore not to send its contestant to the pageant). Now many people have long advocated a Dump the Trump position because they view him as an obnoxious self-caricature. However, NBC is now dropping its association with Trump because he said highly negative things about border illegal aliens at a political event. [Now Macy’s has joined the corporate Dump Trump movement]
One could understand dropping a personality from a show like “The Celebrity Apprentice” over public comments, but the network is shooting shows that are connected Trump’s business interests. It seems odd to pull the plug on the Miss USA and Miss Universe contestants solely because the events is connected financially to someone who has controversial political views. The Miss USA contestants expected to appear on NBC on July 12 from Baton Rouge. The network has aired the program for the last 11 years.
Trump created a firestorm in announcing his candidacy on June 16th for President in discussing illegal immigration. He said:
“The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems. … When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” said Trump. “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.”
I can certainly see the basis for the outcry in labeling the population of illegal immigrants as rapists and criminals (except for “some” who may be “good people”). The question is whether businesses should be punished for the political views of their CEOs or leadership. We have been discussing the increasing private sanctions for unpopular speech — the so-called “Little Brother” problem. It bears some resemblance to the Chick-Fil-A controversy after Chick-Fil-A president Dan Cathy made anti-gay comments. The question is why it is appropriate to punish an entire business — and its employees and customers — because you disagree with the political or religious views of an owner or executive. Where should be draw the line? I can see the basis for severing Trump as an on-air personality over public comments deemed offensive but is it appropriate to bar shows that happen to be financially supported by Trump?
It seems to me that, if NBC is going to bar shows due to the views of business executives, it should do so uniformly. Many CEOs hold views that can be criticized as offensive by one group or another. Is NBC going to impose a uniform speech code for businesses funding programs? The alternative is to separate the political views of business people from their products or programs, particularly when those products or programs do not in any way reflect the views.
What do you think?
Source: Hollywood Reporter