The board of Goya Foods has voted to muzzle its co-owner and CEO Robert Unanue from speaking publicly after the Trump-supporting chief executive questioned the results of the presidential election during a recent media appearance, the New York Post reported.
What are the details?
Last Friday, the nine-member board of the Hispanic foods giant voted by majority to censure Unanue over controversial remarks he made to the media following the Jan. 6 riots at the U.S. Capitol, including an appearance on Fox Business Network last week during which he called the election of President Joe Biden "unverified."
"I think this is mission accomplished. Mission accomplished by the union, the partnership, the conglomerate of social media, Big Tech, big media, and government, big government, for ushering in the dawn of a new world order — this great reset — with an unverified election, and the big prize is the United States," Unanue told Fox Business' Maria Bartiromo on Jan. 20.
Those comments were reportedly the tipping point for board members, who initiated the censure vote two days later. The vote by majority to silence Unanue means he will no longer be able to speak to the media without the board's permission, the Post noted.
"Bob does not speak for Goya Foods when he speaks on TV," Goya board member and third-generation owner Andy Unanue told the news outlet ahead of the vote. "The family has diverse views on politics, but politics is not part of our business. Our political point of views are irrelevant."
An anonymous source speaking to CNN about the matter referred to the censure as a "full stop" on Robert Unanue speaking to the media and added that "his statements are insulting and dangerous."
What's the background?
Unanue, 67, rose to fame in conservative circles last year after he spoke out in support of then-President Trump at a White House roundtable event promoting the Hispanic Prosperity Initiative, an executive order signed by Trump intended to improve educational and economic opportunities for Hispanic Americans.
"We're all truly blessed at the same time to have a leader like President Trump, who is a builder," he said during the event.
The comments immediately triggered a boycott movement of Goya Foods led by progressive politicians such as Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. In response, conservatives rallied to buy Goya products.
Unanue confirmed his censure to the Post but refused to comment on it directly. Instead, he acknowledged that moving forward he would refrain from making his political views public.
"Independently, I've made the decision to lower the temperature and walk away from speaking about politics and religion," he said. "I realize it's important because of the diverse views of the company and our market."
"I don't believe I should speak politically or in a faith-based manner on behalf of the company," he added. "But I leave open the possibility of speaking on behalf of myself."