NEW JERSEY - Politicians and celebrities are boycotting Goya, which claims to be the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the country, after its CEO, Robert Unanue, praised President Donald Trump during an event Thursday at the White House.
"We're all truly blessed at the same time to have a leader like President Trump, who is a builder," said Unanue, who is of Spanish descent.
Trump hosted Hispanic leaders at the White House on Thursday and signed an executive order on the White House Hispanic Prosperity Initiative to use more taxpayer support for private and charter schools and “improve access by Hispanic Americans to education and economic opportunities.”
Goya was founded in Manhattan in 1936 by Prudencio Unanue and his wife Carolina, immigrants from Spain. The company calls itself the largest Hispanic-owned food company in the United States
Unanue also announced the New Jersey-based company would donate 1 million cans of chickpeas and other items to food banks.
Almost immediately, #BoycottGoya, #GoyaFoods and #Goyaway began trending on social media platforms with scorn coming seemingly from all directions, including Hollywood and Washington.
Critics like Rep. Alexandria-Ocasio Cortez, former Democratic presidential candidate Julian Castro and a number of celebrities took aim at the company.
Castro, who served as Housing and Urban Development secretary in the Obama administration, tweeted that Goya’s CEO is,“praising a president who villainizes and maliciously attacks Latinos for political gain.”
Ocasio-Cortez remarked, “Oh look, it’s the sound of me Googling ‘how to make your own Adobo.'” AOC followed up the tweet with an alternative recipe for the seasoning.
Stars like Chrissy Teigen and "Hamilton's" Javier Munoz also spoke out against Goya.
Immigrant youth-focused organization United We Dream created a petition for people to stop buying goods from the company, saying it wouldn’t support those “who endorse and comply with a White Supremacist regime.”
"We all know that Trump has not stopped attacks on immigrants, Latinx folks, Black people, and all people of color, since day 1. We must show CEO of Goya Foods Robert Unanue that we won’t stand for this! If Goya wants our business, they must respect and fight for our humanity!" the organization said in a statement.
That backlash was countered online by Trump supporters, showing how any brand whether they make clothing or, as Goya does, beans, olive oil and adobo, faces potential danger ahead of what is already a highly contentious election.
Unanue stood by his words in the Rose Garden during a Friday appearance on “Fox & Friends."
“I’m not apologizing for saying — and especially when you’re called by the president of the United States — you’re gonna say, ‘no I’m sorry I’m busy no thank you?," Unanue said. “I didn’t say that to the Obamas and I didn’t say that to President Trump.”
Unanue has been a longtime donor to Republican political causes, with the exception of political contributions to New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, a Democrat. )
Goya moved its headquarters over the Hudson River to New Jersey in the 1970s.
Fox Business and the Associated Press contributed to this report