On Monday, NBC announced it would no longer be airing the Miss USA pageant as a result of the network cutting ties with Donald Trump. Trump is the co-owner of the Miss Universe Organization, the host of the annual pageant. The pageant is scheduled for July 12 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Last year, the pageant attracted 5.6 million viewers for the network. NBC also announced that it wouldn’t be airing the Miss Universal Pageants on the network anymore.
The real estate mogul has been under heavy criticism for comments he made about Mexico and Latinos earlier this month. During Trump’s presidential announcement speech earlier this month, he accused Latino immigrants of bringing drugs, crime and rapists to the U.S. Trump said, “The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”
The fallout from the statements began almost immediately. Colombian singer J Balvin announced that he was pulling out of his planned performance at the Miss USA pageant. Shortly after, pageant co-hosts Roselyn Sanchez and Cristian De La Fuente withdrew from their participation in the event. Univision also announced it wouldn’t air the pageant.
The Miss Universe Organization said in a statement, “We are disheartened by recent events but the show will go on. The Miss Universe Organization is built on a foundation of inclusion and continues to be a celebration of diversity and of all cultures. This year’s Miss USA contestants represent many different ethnic backgrounds, including six Latinas (four of whom are of Mexican descent).”
Trump has continues to trumpet his stance on immigration, a topic that he says is very important for him. Tuesday morning, Trump posted more about the issue on Twitter. Trump posted: “We MUST have strong borders and stop illegal immigration. Without that we do not have a country. Also, Mexico is killing U.S. on trade. WIN!” Another tweet said: “I love the Mexican people, but Mexico is not our friend. They’re killing us at the border and they’re killing us on jobs and trade. FIGHT!”