Gagillionaire Donald Trump apparently doesn’t have enough money already. The wealthy mogul is suing a Lithuanian beauty pageant which was created, in part, to fight human trafficking in the country. The “Mrs. Universe” pageant’s platform project is “Beauty Against Human Trafficking,” but Trump thinks their pageant title is too similar to the one he owns. Will Trump’s lawsuit actually take money away from charities who support abused and trafficked women?
According to their website, the Mrs. Universe Pageant, held in Lithuania each year, is a platform to help unite women around the world against violence and human trafficking. This year’s theme of “Beauty Against Human Trafficking” even included the development of suggestions for how beauty pageants could be used to educate women about the dangers of human trafficking and raise awareness of the crime in Lithuania. The week of events surrounding the pageant was used to launch round table discussions in Lithuania on how to improve human trafficking policy. It also included a charity gala to support local educational and art programs for orphaned children. An event that supports preventing violence against women and giving orphans an education sounds pretty hard to attack, right?
Not for Donald Trump and NBC Universal, who own the Miss Universe Organization. They filed suit in court this week against the Mrs. Universe pageant for copyright infringement. Trump and NBC claim the names of the pageants are too similar, and that Mrs. Universe violates their copyright. The Lithuanians claim the word “universe” is about as generic as it gets, so they have every right to call their pageant that. Substantively, the only difference between the two pageants is that in Trump’s contestants must be unmarried and in the Lithuanian pageant they must be married. And of course, the Lithuanian pageant created substantive strategies to tackle one of the most significant human rights issues in the world while Trump’s asked women how they feel about the Internet.
I’m no copyright lawyer, so I don’t know if his claim has merit. But Donald Trump is one of the richest men in the world, and he’s suing a Lithuanian charity project that supports trafficked women and orphans. That’s not Goliath suing David, that’s more like Goliath suing Mother Theresa. Is this the road you really want to go down, Donald? Do you really want to walk into a courtroom full of Lithuanian orphans and applaud when you cut off their education funds? Do you really want to let a country full of women be sucked into slavery? I know you like having money, but I kinda hoped you also like having class.
So based on the current lawsuit, and I’m sorry to have to do this Don, but when it comes to fighting human trafficking … you’re fired.