comScore

Hubbard Broadcasting to air Miss USA despite Trump's racist comments

Shaylma Salinas, Miss Minnesota Latina 2015

Shaylma Salinas, Miss Minnesota Latina 2015

Real estate magnate and hairdo pioneer Donald Trump really thinks 2016 is the year he finally reaches his rightful place in the White House. But after calling Mexican immigrants criminals, he’s finding that the will of the people might not be good for business.  

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best,” Trump said in his June 16 presidential announcement speech. “They’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists and some, I assume, are good people.”

This latest face-palm moment from Trump has sent other Republicans scrambling to distance themselves, and several Spanish-speaking broadcast stations, including Univision, have cut business ties. Macy’s threw out Trump fashion. NBC no longer wants him to host The Apprentice and won’t have anything to do with his Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants.

The beauty pageant community was inconsolable, circulating petitions arguing that they shouldn’t be punished for the statements of Trump, who owns the pageants.  

That’s when family-owned Hubbard Broadcasting of St. Paul jumped into the fray, rescuing Miss USA about a week before air time. Stanley Hubbard, who also owns KSTP, basically shrugged and claimed he was only thinking of the girls. Besides, he got a good deal.  

Hector Garcia, director of the Minnesota Council on Latino Affairs, says his only takeaway from the Trump fiasco is that this presidential aspirant totally misunderstands Mexicans and the global forces that cause most undocumented Latinos to travel to America, Garcia says. For example, the drug wars that have chased thousands of child refugees across the border since last summer.

Shaylma Salinas, Miss Minnesota Latina 2015 and a teacher in Owatonna

Shaylma Salinas, Miss Minnesota Latina 2015 and a teacher in Owatonna

"[Trump's] is an uninformed opinion, but unfortunately, many others in the country might have the same impression and are not saying it. He's very outspoken," Garcia says. As for Miss USA, he couldn't care less. "I don't normally watch that show anyhow." 

But Shaylma Salinas, the reigning Miss Minnesota Latina and a teacher in Owatonna, has mixed feelings when it comes to Hubbard Broadcasting's decision to support Trump's business. As a first-generation college graduate of immigrant parents from Mexico, she says she owes her work ethic to her parents' willingness to work hard for little pay all their lives. Trump's remarks reflect more on his unprofessionalism than on people like her and her family, Salinas says, but she wouldn't take it out on the contestants of Miss USA. 

"It's going to be a sticky situation as smaller networks try to get publicity. But for the women, pageants take a lot of hard work and dedication," Salinas says. "The Hispanic contestants, as long as they speak their minds and don't shy away from their community, I think it's very important for them to be shown."

Send news tips to Susan Du.