On Sunday, though, Unanue once again denied the election results, falsely calling Trump “the real, the legitimate, and still the actual president of the United States” in a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Orlando.
Unanue’s comments sparked renewed outrage on social media, with some calling again for action against the company with a #BoycottGoya hashtag on Twitter. A spokesperson from Goya Foods did not immediately respond to messages from The Washington Post late on Sunday.
The initial backlash against Unanue and the company unfolded last summer when the executive compared Trump to his grandfather, the founder of Goya, which calls itself the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the United States.
“We’re truly blessed at the same time to have a leader like President Trump who is a builder, and that’s what my grandfather did,” the executive said during a speech at the Rose Garden last July. “We pray for our leadership, our president, and we pray for our country that we will continue to prosper and grow.”
Unanue’s remarks soon dragged Goya into intense criticism, particularly from customers who identify as Latino who cited Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and controversial immigration policies. Figures like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), former Democratic presidential candidate Julián Castro and chef José Andrés condemned the executive’s remarks.
Unanue defended himself, calling the boycott a “suppression of speech.”
Trump’s supporters, meanwhile, capitalized on the campaign by posing with Goya products. Trump was photographed with Goya cans atop the Resolute Desk, while his daughter Ivanka Trump posted a picture holding a can of the brand’s black beans — raising concerns about government officials publicly endorsing brands.
In January, Unanue sparked new backlash by calling the election results “unverified” in a Fox News interview. Days later, the New York Post first reported, the majority of the company’s nine-member board voted to censure the executive.
“Bob does not speak for Goya Foods when he speaks on TV,” Goya board member and company owner Andy Unanue told the paper. “The family has diverse views on politics, but politics is not part of our business. Our political point of views are irrelevant.”
After that controversy, the CEO told the Post he would refrain from publicly commenting on politics and religion on Goya’s behalf.
“I don’t believe I should speak politically or in a faith-based manner on behalf of the company,” he said. “But I leave open the possibility of speaking on behalf of myself.”
It is unclear whether the company’s board was aware Unanue was scheduled to speak at CPAC on Sunday.
Onstage in Orlando, Unanue made a number of false claims, saying that “not only the presidential election” but the “Georgia election,” a state which Trump lost, was “not legitimate.” The executive also referenced baseless claims that mail-in ballots were fraudulent.
“As a citizen of the United States, I think I’m allowed to vote once, once — not twice, or three times, or 10 times,” Unanue said.
His comments promptly sparked backlash from celebrities and others on social media vowing a new boycott.
“No more chick peas from Goya for me,” tweeted the View’s co-host Joy Behar.
Others questioned how Goya could allow Unanue to continue making such claims.
“Folks at Goya should be embarrassed by their CEO,” tweeted journalist Soledad O’Brien.