U.S. President Donald Trump listens to remarks from Robert Unanue, CEO of Goya Foods, prior to signing an Executive Order on the White House Hispanic Prosperity Initiative at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 9, 2020. Picture taken July 9, 2020. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

Goya Food, Inc. faces competing boycotts and “buy-cotts” following a July 9 White House press conference about an executive order for the Hispanic Prosperity Initiative. At the event, CEO Robert Unanue said, “We’re so blessed to have you as our leader, as we continue to build this country and make it — continue to make it the most prosperous nation in the world.” He also announced that the company would be donating 1 million cans of chickpeas and 1 million pounds of other food to food banks.

In response, numerous lawmakers and consumers called for a boycott of the brand’s products, with #BoycottGoya and #Goyaway quickly trending on Twitter. Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro tweeted, “Americans should think twice before buying their products.” Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., similarly said that she was Googling how to make her own adobo following Unanue’s comments. Lin-Manuel Miranda, director and star of “Hamilton,” echoed Rep. Ocasio-Cortez’s sentiment, stating, “We learned to bake bread in this pandemic, we can learn to make our own adobo con pimienta. Bye.”

In a Fox & Friends interview on Friday, Unanue referred to the boycott as “suppression of speech” and said that he is not apologizing for his remarks supporting the Trump administration’s economic policy. On Friday, Donald Trump Jr. also alleged that a “leftist mob wants to cancel one of the largest Hispanic owned companies in America because they recognize that the president has shown great leadership.”

In response to the calls for a boycott, numerous supporters of President Donald Trump and Goya Foods weighed in to call for a “buy-cott.” In addition, a GoFundMe page called “Buy GOYA – Support Trump & Feed the Hungry” was started on Sunday. The page raised $100,000 in less than 24 hours. 

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

The Goya Foods boycott controversy, explained – Vox – 7/12/2020
Unanue’s right and capacity to express his ideas about the president — or any other matter — remain intact even if profit margins at Goya, a multibillion-dollar company, take a hit due to pushback from boycott campaigns. Instead of free speech, the core issue is the social consequences that accompany taking a political position in a highly polarized political climate.

McEnany blasts anti-Trump Goya boycott: ‘Basket of deplorable politics’ now routine on the left – Fox News – 7/13/2020
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany called the backlash over Goya CEO Robert Unanue’s praise of President Trump at a White House event last week “unfortunate,” adding that “this is the kind of basket of deplorable politics that the left routinely engages in.” “They will shame anyone who associates with this administration, but the silent majority stand strong and it’s shameful what they did to Bob,” McEnany told “Fox & Friends” on Monday.

Goya Foods Boycott Takes Off After Its President Praises Trump – The New York Times – 7/10/2020
Mr. Unanue’s comments drew swift condemnation on social media from people who were upset that a company whose products are popular among Latinos and others would so openly support a president who has vilified immigrants, especially those from Latin America, and whose harsh policies have targeted them. The hashtags #Goyaway and #BoycottGoya quickly formed to share criticism from many, including those who routinely buy Goya products.

The Left Found A New Love For Corporate Personhood – The Federalist – 7/13/2020
Corporations are pressured by progressives not to advertise on TV shows like “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” meanwhile companies like My Pillow, which do choose to advertise on the show are attacked. A boycott has been called for against Goya because its CEO dared to praise Trump. Nike and other companies have finally succeeded where activists failed in cancelling the name of the Washington Redskins.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

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