On Tuesday, the “Encanto” star and fierce advocate for Latino causes wrote a biting op-ed piece for the Los Angeles Times in which he called out the Spanish-language network for airing an interview earlier this month in which the former president — who is facing multiple criminal indictments — sat down with popular broadcast news anchor Enrique Acevedo for what Leguizamo described as a “cozy interview.”
“On Nov. 9 the network aired an hourlong interview with him that held a completely uncritical lens on the dangerous policies Trump espoused during his presidency and what he has vowed to set in motion if he is elected in 2024,” Leguizamo wrote. The actor also pointed out in his piece that the conversation occurred just days before Trump’s “inhumane and vicious immigration policy plan for 2025” was announced by his former adviser Stephen Miller.
The New York Times called Trump’s purported plans to curb immigration if elected “an assault on immigration on a scale unseen in modern American history.”
They include plans like banning entry of people from certain Muslim-majority nations, ending birthright citizenship, and rounding up undocumented people and placing them in mass detention camps as they await deportation.
“These plans echo why Trump is considered the most anti-Latino president in American history and recall his four years in office stoking hate speech and causing suffering for so many people,” Leguizamo wrote.
The Tony winner pointed out that Univision has long been a trusted media source for Spanish speakers with a reputation for “reporting accurate information on candidates and their policies.” Leguizamo even noted that respected television anchor Jorge Ramos was kicked out of a 2015 press conference by Trump and told to “go back to Univision” after the journalist confronted the then-presidential candidate about his palms for immigration.
Yet, there is a very clear reason why the network is suddenly more favorable toward Trump. The Washington Postreported earlier this month that Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, is friends with a new executive at Univision, and that Kushner helped set up the network’s recent interview with the former president.
“Despite … past indignities and dangerous plans, Univision’s new corporate owners — one of whom is friends with Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner — have decided to shift the network’s editorial approach and buddy up with Trump less than a year before an immensely consequential election for Latino voters,” Leguizamo wrote.
Earlier this month, Univision canceled already-purchased advertising spots from the Biden campaign that were meant to air during Trump interviews on the network. The network also canceled a booking with Biden’s Hispanic media director, Maca Casado, who was going to respond to Trump’s interview.
Leguizamo argued in his piece that in a democracy, the press has a duty “ensure that the government is accountable to the people it serves.”
“Any corporate decision that undermines that role is dangerous and an abuse of the public’s trust,” Leguizamo wrote.
“As one of the most relied-upon news sources for Spanish speakers, Univision has a responsibility to report the facts and maintain journalistic integrity, regardless of which politician the CEO chooses to befriend,” Leguizamo said.
To read Leguizamo’s op-ed in full, read over to the Los Angeles Times.