Rodner Figueroa has apologized in an open letter after likening Michelle Obama to a character from the film Planet of the Apes.
He made the remarks while commenting on an internet video about a make-up artist who transforms himself into various celebrities.
The fired Univision TV presenter said his remarks were meant to be critical of the artist’s work, not an attack on the first lady.
Univision said the remarks were “completely reprehensible”.
“Well, watch out, you know that Michelle Obama looks like she’s from the cast of <<Planet of the Apes>>, the movie,” Rodner Figueroa said in a live broadcast on March 11 during a segment on the top-rated Spanish-language network in the US.
The show’s other hosts immediately challenged the remark and commented that Michelle Obama was very attractive.
“But it is true,” Rodner Figueroa said in response.
In the letter addressed to Michelle Obama, Rodner Figueroa said: “I would like to explain that my remark was not directed at you, but at the result of an artist’s depiction of you that I found wasn’t accurate.”
He went on to ask Michelle Obama for forgiveness and accepted responsibility for the remarks that could be “interpreted as offensive or disrespectful to you personally, or to any minority in the times we live”.
Rodner Figueroa also noted that he voted for President Barack Obama during the previous two elections, and made reference to his own multi-racial background.
Michelle Obama’s office has not responded to the controversial remarks or the apology.
Rodner Figueroa won a Daytime Emmy Award in 2014 for his work. He worked for Univision for 17 years.
Long-time Univision talk show host Rodner Figueroa has been fired after saying that First Lady Michelle Obama looks like someone from the cast of Planet of the Apes.
Rodner Figueroa, who’s known for his biting fashion commentary, made his remarks during a live segment of the show El Gordo y la Flaca in which the hosts were commenting on a viral video that shows a makeup artist transforming himself into different celebrities, including Michelle Obama.
“Well, watch out, you know that Michelle Obama looks like she’s from the cast of <<Planet of the Apes>>, the movie,” Rodner Figueroa, 42, said with a giggle.
When hostess Lili Estefan countered with “What are you saying?” and host Raul de Molina said Michelle Obama was very attractive, Rodner Figueroa defended his remark, saying “but it is true”.
In a statement, Univision called Rodner Figueroa’s comments “completely reprehensible” and said they “in no way reflect the values or opinions of Univision.”
Univision chairman Haim Saban is a major contributor to the Democratic Party who is well known to the Obama administration.
According to CNN, Rodner Figueroa issued a statement on march 12 asserting that he was fired after the network received a complaint from Michelle Obama’s office.
Tim Burton and his long-term partner, actress Helena Bonham Carter, have split up after 13 years of relationship.
The film director and actress, who never married, have a son aged 11 and a 7-year-old daughter.
The couple first met when Tim Burton, 56, directed Helena Bonham Carter, 48, in 2001’s Planet of the Apes.
A representative for Helena Bonham Carter told People Magazine that they “separated amicably earlier this year and have continued to be friends and co-parent their children.”
“We would ask that you respect their privacy and that of their children during this time.”
Since working together on Planet of the Apes, Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter have teamed up on several blockbusters, including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Sweeney Todd, Alice in Wonderland and Dark Shadows.
Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter together earlier this week at Cats the Musical at London Palladium.
For years the film director and actress lived in separate homes right next door to each other, something Helena Bonham Carter said worked well for them.