By Cynthia Littleton – August 18, 2017
Randy Falco, CEO of Univision Communications, is the latest corporate leader to call for a forceful condemnation of white supremacists and neo-Nazis in the wake of last weekend’s violence in Charlottesville, Va.
Falco sent a memo to staffers at the Spanish-language media giant pledging to speak out against attacks on immigrants, the LGBT community, the media and those who “espouse racist and hateful views.”
Falco’s statement follows on the heels of similar statements from Apple CEO Tim Cook, 21st Century Fox CEO James Murdoch and other CEOs in the wake of President Donald Trump’s conflicting statements about the Charlottesville rally of white supremacists, which left a 32-year-old counter-protester dead on Saturday.
Falco tangled with Trump during the presidential campaign after the then-candidate asserted that many Mexican immigrants were “rapists” and criminals. Univision severed ties with Trump’s Miss Universe beauty pageant franchise in 2015, just months after signing a multi-year pact to carry the events.
“This past week we have all watched the horrific events in Charlottesville and the spreading messages of hate and bigotry in too many communities across the country. Sadly, these events did not happen in a bubble but are endemic of a broader disease of anti-immigrant, racist, homophobic, and religious intolerance that is spreading and threatening to divide our country,” Falco wrote.
“The current insanity threatens to spiral out of control and has to stop. Leadership is needed. Leaders from corporate America must step in to protect the communities we serve, as so many leaders in our nation’s Capital are failing to speak out forcefully and clearly against the spreading hate and bigotry,” Falco wrote.
Business leaders have been steadily distancing themselves from Trump in the days since he defended Saturday’s rally, asserting that there were some “very fine people” in the crowd alongside the neo-Nazis. The rally was ostensibly held to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a local park, one of dozens of efforts by communities to come to grips with the legacy of slavery and the Civil War.
News coverage of torch-wielding white nationalists chanting “Jews will not replace us” and Nazi symbols at gatherings in Charlottesville last weekend have rattled the nation and created another leadership crisis for the Trump administration.
“I am proud of the greatness of the multicultural America we live in and are making. And I am heartened to see so many CEOs speaking out and hope that they will continue to do so, not only this week but in the coming weeks and months, so that we can pass on to the next generation an America that embraces inclusion and equality for everyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, language, gender or orientation,” he wrote.