Former reality star Donald Trump has won the U.S. presidential election, defeating Democrat Hillary Clinton in a poll-defying shock outcome.
Although most polls and pundits gave Clinton an edge going into the final count, the 70-year-old Republican businessman managed to take the key battleground states of Ohio, Florida, Pennsylvania and North Carolina to decisively claim victory.
At 2:30 a.m., Nov. 9, The Associated Press called the election for Trump after he won Wisconsin and passed the 270 electoral collage votes needed to become the country’s 45th president.
Tuesday’s vote marked the end of a campaign full of controversies that would have sunk many other candidates. On the campaign trail, Trump branded Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals, supported a ban on Muslims entering the United States and threatened to sue news outlets that criticized him.
In October, several women came forward to accuse Trump of sexual assault after a 2005 tape emerged of the candidate making lewd remarks on the set of Access Hollywood.
He also called his political opponent a crook and threatened to put her in jail if elected president. However, he took a more conciliatory tone during a 3 a.m. victory speech in New York City.
“Now it’s time for America to bind the wounds of division,” he said. “It is time for us to come together as one united people. It’s time.”
The campaign also ensnared one of the most powerful people in unscripted TV.
Trump hosted the NBC reality series The Apprentice between 2004 and 2015. After the Access Hollywood tape came out, calls mounted for the show’s executive producer Mark Burnett to release hours of uncut footage that might hurt the Republican’s chances. The controversy compelled the producer to issue a statement distancing himself from Trump and denouncing the “hatred, division and misogyny that has been a very unfortunate part of his campaign.”
The election’s impact on the television industry is uncertain, but Reuters reports that Time-Warner shares fell 2% on Wednesday amid concerns Trump would block a proposed US$85 billion acquisition by AT&T Inc. “It’s too much concentration of power in the hands of too few,” Trump said of the proposal during a rally on Oct. 22.
Meanwhile, other media stocks were down on Wednesday morning. Viacom shares fell 2.33% to $36.36, Netflix dipped 2.16% to $121.66, Discovery dropped 1.59% to $25.44 and CBS went down 1.47% to $56.88 and Amazon fell 2.97% to $23.29.
Despite predicting Trump would ride a wave of working-class voter discontent to victory, documentarian Michael Moore released the documentary Michael Moore in Trumpland in which he made the case for Clinton to a mixed group of Republican-leaning voters in Wilmington, Ohio. The filmed version of his one-man show was shot weeks before election day and began rolling out in cinemas and on digital platforms on October 18.
PBS ‘POV’ executive director and producer Justine Nagan in a statement to realscreen, meanwhile, said that the documentary brand is committed to bridging great divides and serving all Americans in the wake of growing censorship concerns and sinking media stocks.
“POV’s role is more important than ever. We bring independent voices and stories that might otherwise go unnoticed, to American viewers, for free through public media,” she said. “PBS and POV are largely supported by committed and generous individuals, foundations and businesses that believe in the mission. While we do receive some government support, that support has weathered many different administrations. We believe in the importance of public media to serve all Americans and are committed to building on our legacy in the days ahead.”
“It’s more critical than ever that immigrants, Muslims, LGBTQ people, victims of sexual assault, the disabled, undocumented Americans — everyone Donald Trump targeted on the campaign trail — are making sure our voices are heard,” added Off the Menu: Asian America filmmaker Grace Lee.
Following Trump’s win, Moore was among the documentary and unscripted voices to sound off on social media with a mix of anger, optimism and resolve.
“The next wave of fascism will come not with cattle cars and camps. It will come with a friendly face.” – Bertram Gross, “Friendly Fascism”
— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) November 9, 2016
Last night was painful. But we must keep pushing for a kinder, more just, more inclusive country. Especially now, it is time to work hard. — Simon Kilmurry (@SKilmurry) November 9, 2016
Waking up feeling like America just broke up with me.
— Josh Fox (@joshfoxfilm) November 9, 2016
FYI: Manhattan, where people know Trump best (he’s lived, worked, & played there most of his life), gave him 10% of the vote. — Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) November 9, 2016
‘Till now, he has confounded and exceeded all expectations. Hoping hard he’ll continue to do so.
— Tom Forman (@tomformanprod) November 9, 2016
Maybe the pollsters can get some great new jobs in manufacturing, coal & all the industries where Trump will be creating massive job growth — Lucy Walker (@lucywalkerfilm) November 9, 2016
America – look at this way … no matter who wins, at least we can all go to California to smoke weed together.
— Morgan Spurlock (@MorganSpurlock) November 9, 2016
I literally don’t know what to say to my daughter and my sensitive son tomorrow. I’m leaving twitter for a while to try to solve this. xo — Robert Greene (@prewarcinema) November 9, 2016
How could so much DNC and media data gathering and analytics be so wrong?
— Jason Spingarn-Koff (@jskoff) November 9, 2016
Women, people of color, fellow LGBT friends: are you as overwhelmed w sadness as I am that our country is collectively giving us the finger? — Matt Mazur (@Matt_Mazur) November 9, 2016
More to come