Goya Foods is the target of widespread condemnation and calls to boycott its popular Hispanic cooking products after CEO Bob Unanue heaped lavish praise on President Trump. “We are all truly blessed, at the same time, to have a leader like President Trump who is a builder,” Unanue said at a Hispanic Prosperity Initiative event in the Rose Garden Thursday.
Social media immediately erupted with damnation from politicians, consumers and community leaders, who urged people to spend their money on other brands.
Goya Foods, a New Jersey-based manufacturer of Hispanic staples from black beans to baking products, bills itself as the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the country. Its goods line store shelves from coast to coast.
Trump has been roundly criticized for calling Mexican immigrants "rapists" who are "bringing crime" and "bringing drugs" to the United States. His administration has also been castigated for separating immigrant children from their parents at the southern border.
Unanue, far from being bowed by the outrage over his statements, doubled-down Friday, telling Fox News he would not apologize.
He called the boycott, currently trending on Twitter, “suppression of speech,” and said he had been invited to the White House by the Obama administration during Hispanic Heritage Month.
“So, you’re allowed to talk good or to praise one president, but you’re not allowed to aid in economic and educational prosperity? And you make a positive comment and all of a sudden, it is not acceptable?” Unanue asked.
The hashtags "Goyaway" and "BOYCOTTGOYA" exploded on Twitter.
“@GoyaFoods has been a staple of so many Latino households for generations. Now their CEO, Bob Unanue, is praising a president who villainizes and maliciously attacks Latinos for political gain. Americans should think twice before buying their products. #Goyaway,” posted Julian Castro, Obama's secretary of HUD and a former Democratic presidential candidate.
Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York joined the boycott drive, posting, “Oh look, it’s the sound of me Googling ‘how to make your own Adobo.'"
“Get yourself friends like these: this tweet wasn’t up for TWO MINUTES when my friend hit me up with the recipe. (Their note: ‘the ginger is controversial, but worth it’),” she added, retweeting a friend’s adobo recipe.
Oh look, it’s the sound of me Googling “how to make your own Adobo” https://t.co/YOScAcyAnC— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 10, 2020
Famous Spanish chef José Andrés wrote: "Let’s be clear @GoyaFoods President Trump has left Latinos and many Americans hungry. Cages Latino Children. Has forgotten the Latino community through this pandemic. Has called Mexicans rapist. We are blessed? I think Latinos we are being mistreated."
Let’s be clear @GoyaFoods President Trump has left Latinos and many Americans hungry. Cages Latino Children. Has forgotten the Latino community through this pandemic. Has called Mexicans rapist. We are blessed? I think Latinos we are being mistreated..... https://t.co/50LtQFCR0X— Please wear a mask! Do it for USA, please... (@chefjoseandres) July 9, 2020
Another poster wrote, "So he’s genuflecting to the guy who is building a wall, called Hispanics rapists and murderers. Okay. No more Goya for me #GOYABOYCOTT."