Like Macy’s, NBC and Univision, chef José Andrés has severed ties with real estate mogul and presidential candidate Donald Trump in light of remarks he made about Mexican immigrants.
More than 2,665 people signed a petition started earlier this week telling Andrés, who was GW’s Commencement speaker last year, to cut ties with Trump and not open a restaurant in his future D.C. hotel.
“Donald Trump’s recent statements disparaging immigrants make it impossible for my company and I to move forward with opening a successful Spanish restaurant in Trump International’s upcoming hotel in Washington, D.C. More than half of my team is Hispanic, as are many of our guests. And, as a proud Spanish immigrant and recently naturalized American citizen myself, I believe that every human being deserves respect, regardless of immigration status,” he said in a statement released in the Washington Post on Wednesday.
Donald Trump Jr., Executive Vice President of The Trump Organization, responded to Andrés’ statement in a email sent to the Washington Post. He said the company intended to “take legal action to recover all unpaid rent” and “enforce the exclusivity provisions preventing Mr. Andrés from opening a competing restaurant anywhere in the D.C area.”
Andrés, who is an adjunct professor at GW and a member of the Urban Food Task Force, already operates eight eateries and a food truck in D.C.