A New Clinton Ad Features Former Miss Universe Alicia Machado Detailing Trump’s Insults About Her Looks

Former Miss Universe Alicia Machado has become one of Hillary Clinton’s most powerful surrogates. The pageant star from Venezuela, who was crowned Miss Universe in May 1996, was infamously mocked and teased for her weight gain by pageant owner Donald Trump — and in a new ad, Machado is speaking out about the way she was treated two decades ago.

“I was the first Miss Universe after Trump bought the pageant,” Machado says in a Spanish-language ad with English subtitles. “He was overwhelming. I was very scared of him. He’d yell at me all the time. He’d tell me, ‘You look ugly,’ or, ‘You look fat.’ Sometimes he’d ‘play’ with me and say: ‘Hello, Miss Piggy,’ ‘Hello, Miss Housekeeping.'”

But it wasn’t just her physical appearance or Venezuelan accent that the Republican presidential nominee used to degrade her. Machado was also never paid for her work promoting the pageant and other products. “As Miss Universe, I participated in more ad campaigns than most,” Machado tells the camera. “In a year, I earned the company a lot of money. By contract, I should’ve earned 10% on all the commercials and work I did. I was never paid.”

But the most devastating part of the ad comes during its latter half, when the music darkens and subtitles remind the viewer of the time Trump blindsided Machado by inviting dozens of cameramen to watch her work out after repeatedly criticizing her weight in the press. “She weighed 118 pounds or 117 pounds, and she went up to 160 or 170. So this is somebody who likes to eat,” Trump says in found footage from the ’90s. (According to a profile of Machado in The Guardian, Trump grossly over-exaggerated the beauty queen’s weight gain, though she didn’t dare correct him at the time.)

“It was very humiliating,” Machado says. “I felt really bad, like a lab rat. It had turned into a circus, the joke of ‘The Fat Miss Universe.’ A joke that caused me a lot of pain.” While she speaks, Machado flips through a scrapbook of news clippings, pointing out one headline that reads, “Bella Tratada Como Bestia” (Beauty Treated Like Beast). “Long after, I was sick with eating disorders. I wouldn’t eat, and I would still see myself as fat, because a powerful man had said so.”

Trump doubled down on his critique of Machado during an appearance on Fox and Friends Tuesday morning, where he called in to discuss his debate performance. “She was the worst we ever had, the worst, the absolute worst, she was impossible,” Trump said of the former Miss Universe. “She gained a massive amount of weight, and it was a real problem. We had a real problem.”

BuzzFeed has also dug up some audio footage of Trump and Howard Stern discussing Machado’s weight gain. The real estate mogul called her an “eating machine.”

(Via The Guardian & BuzzFeed)

Vote Now