Updated at 3:30am ET on June 30 with Ora TV news.
NBCUniversal announced today that it is planning to scrap its business relationship with Donald Trump, based on his recent public tirade about America’s hispanic population. The network will no longer air the annual Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, both part of a joint venture between the network and Trump, nor will the real estate mogul be returning as host of hit reality show “The Apprentice.”
“Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump,” the company said in a statement.
Trump responded on his Instagram account, saying that he “stands by his statements on illegal immigration, which are accurate,” and warning that NBC’s “contract violating closure of Miss Universe/Miss USA will be determined in court.”
NBCUniversal had been under pressure to dump Trump after a coalition of Hispanic advocates demanded a break in the relationship and a Change.org petition gained more than 200,000 signatures. Trump, who announced his bid for the US presidency on June 16 in New York, declared in his comments that Mexicans were bringing drugs and crime to the country and were “rapists.” He later softened his tone in subsequent interviews and tweets, saying, “I love the Mexican people,” while refusing to apologize for his initial comments.
Univision, the largest Spanish-speaking network in the US, led the charge in ditching its agreement to broadcast the Miss USA and Miss Universe contests, and swiftly severed ties with the Miss Universe Organization, which is co-owned by Donald Trump and NBCUniversal. Trump has since threatened legal action against Univision.
Ora TV, a production company controlled by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, also canceled a project it had been working on with Trump. Arturo Elias, Slim’s spokesman and son-in-law, said Trump’s comments were racist, and added: “His statement was totally out of line…working with someone so closed-minded was not going to work.”