NBC said Monday that it is ending its business relationship with mogul and GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump because of comments he made about Mexican immigrants during the announcement of his campaign.
The network said it would no longer air the annual Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, which had been a joint venture between the company and Trump. Miss USA has aired on NBC since 2003, and this year’s edition was set for July 12.
NBC said in a statement: “At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values,”
Trump’s reply: “NBC is weak” and should prepare to meet him in court.
NBC’s action comes less than a week after ‘Univision’ similarly decided to ditch Trump and the pageants. Trump is the host on NBC ‘The Apprentice’ and its celebrity offshoot, and an agreement that he would no longer be on the show predated the current controversy. The network said Monday that it and producer Mark Burnett are exploring ways to continue “Celebrity Apprentice” without Trump.
Trump said he anticipated losing the business relationship and that he’s not apologizing for his statements because they “were correct.”
In a statement issued by his company in New York, Trump said “NBC is weak, and like everybody else is trying to be politically correct. That is why our country is in serious trouble.” He said he’d consider suing, as he plans to do with ‘Univision.’
During his presidential kickoff speech, Trump said Mexican immigrants are “bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists and some, I assume, are good people.” He called for building a wall along the southern border of the United States and said he’d “make Mexico pay for it.”
The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a group of 39 Latino advocacy organizations, had called on NBC to get out of business with Trump. Similarly, a petition urging the same thing on the Change.org website had gathered more than 218,000 signatures.
Dozens of protesters waited outside of a downtown Chicago restaurant where Trump was speaking, chanting“No more hate!”