'East Los High' Star, Former Beauty Queen Ashley Campuzano on Mexico's Possible Exit from Donald Trump's Pageant [Exclusive]
Mexican-American actress Ashley Campuzano is gearing up for Season 3 of Hulu's original, Emmy-nominated series "East Los High," but as a former beauty queen, she is also offended by the verbal attacks on Mexicans from presidential candidate and owner of the Miss Universe Pageant, Donald Trump.
The Southern California native and California State University of Los Angeles graduate has held titles as Miss Teen Downey in 2007, Miss Teen California Latina in 2008, and also competed in the national competition for Miss Teen U.S. Latina, the Miss Teen California USA pageant, and placed in the Top 15.
Campuzano is among many Mexican-Americans, Mexicans and Latinos in general who are appalled by the reality TV/business mogul's ignorant comments -- including former Miss Universe Lupita Jones, who became the first Mexican to win the crown in 1991, as well as Colombian singer J Blavin who just pulled out of his Miss USA performance on July 12.
According to reports, Jones, who is also the national director of Nuestra Belleza Mexico (which chooses its country's Miss Universe representative), tweeted her concern about Mexico's participation in the annual competition after Trump's over-the-top campaign speech.
"When Mexico sends its people they're not sending the best," Trump said during his harsh stance on the country. "They're not sending you, they're sending people that have lots of problems and they're bringing those problems. They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime. They're rapists and some, I assume, are good people, but I speak to border guards and they're telling us what we're getting."
Jones' tweet in Spanish revealed that she connected with the organization's president, Paula Shugart, to find out their position on Mexico's representative and was reportedly "assured that Mexico's candidate would not receive unfair treatment."
"In the moment that I feel that our representative's integrity and dignity is at risk, I will consider Wendy's participation in Miss Universe," Jones tweeted.
Wendy Esparza, a 23-year-old journalist who's slated to represent Mexico later this year, hasn't officially commented on the controversial subject, but she has been active on social media.
Her fans announced a beginning to her campaigning.
— MISS MÉXICO (@MISSMEXICOFANS) June 24, 2015
Trump tweeted a retraction on June 20, which was translated to: "I like Mexico and love the spirit of Mexican people, but we must protect our borders from people, from all over, pouring into the U.S." However, the tension is still present and the ripple effect continues.
— MISS MéXICO (@MISSMEXICOFANS) June 24, 2015
"I honestly think that is very brave of her to do," Campuzano said of Jones defending her people and reconsidering Miss Mexico's role in the Miss Universe pageant. "Most people wouldn't do that and I am glad that she is taking a stand for what she believes in...
"People respect your actions and I totally stand by her and what she's doing," she added. "Some people will just let people talk about you or say things about your country or your people and what type of person you are. She's very brave and I'm very much appreciative of what she's doing."
Campuzano also told Latin Post in an exclusive interview that if she were in the running for Miss Universe that she would pull out of the competition given Trump's offensive campaign speech.
"I honestly would probably do that, yeah. I don't think that's right," she explained. "Why would you want to go and be somewhere where they are talking about, not necessarily where you came from, (in her case as she was born in the U.S.) but where you're family comes from. I probably would have not participated in any of these things (pageants) if I have heard any of these comments in the past."
J Blavin, who called Mexico a "Latin powerhouse" and decided to remove himself from Miss USA -- his first gig on national [mainstream] TV -- commented on the controversy.
Stressing "our roots, our culture, our values," he told Billboard: "This isn't about being punitive, but about showing leadership through social responsibility. His comments weren't just about Mexicans, but about all Latins in general."
Campuzano plays Tiffany Ramos, a member of the school's dance team "The Bomb Squad" on the "East Los High," a popular teen drama that touches upon domestic abuse, bullying, safe sex, undocumented families and immigration.
"East Los High" Season 3 kicks off on July 15, 2015. (Stay tuned for a more in-depth feature with Campuzano about her role on the Hulu hit series as its Season 3 premiere approaches.)