Univision has announced that it is cutting ties with Donald Trump and ending coverage of the Miss USA beauty pageant, which he co-owns.
The US Spanish-language broadcaster said it follows Donald Trump’s disparaging remarks made about Mexicans.
Donald Trump said Mexicans brought drugs and crime to the US, during his announcement last week to seek the Republican presidential nomination.
The businessman is now threatening a lawsuit.
In his speech last week, Donald Trump said of Mexico: “They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists, and some I assume are good people, but I speak to border guards and they tell us what we are getting.”
In announcing the breakup, Univision said that his words were “insulting remarks about Mexican immigrants” and said it would not air the Miss USA pageant on July 12. The company also said it would be severing all business ties with the celebrity businessman.
Donald Trump has said his remarks were a criticism of US lawmakers, not the Mexican people or their government. He has also said that if Univision follows through with its decision it would be in breach of a contract that “has no termination rights”.
“We intend to pursue all legal rights and remedies available to Mr. Trump pursuant to the terms of the license agreement as well as a defamation case against Univision,” lawyer Michael Cohen said.
Donald Trump also accused the Mexican government of pressuring the network into “laying down”.
“They want to silence Donald Trump. And Donald Trump can’t be silenced,” he said in reference to himself.
“Of course I have a signed contract: five years, they have to pay me almost $15 million,” he said in an interview with the Fox News television network.
Univision has not commented on these remarks.
Cristian de la Fuente, one of the two co-hosts who pulled out of the program, said: “It’s a shame that such an important institution as Miss USA is now in the hands of a clown.”
While NBC has the primary broadcast rights to the spectacle, Univision was – for the first time – going to simultaneously air the event in Spanish.
Colombian singer J. Balvin was set to give a performance that would air on both broadcasts, but has withdrawn from the event.
NBC plans to air Miss USA Pageant despite Univision pulling out.
Hispanic TV show Sabado Gigante is coming to an end after 53 years.
Sabado Gigante, broadcast by Spanish language network Univision, will have its final show in September.
The three-hour show drew more than 2 million US viewers on Saturday nights, and was also broadcast to more than a dozen countries in Latin America.
Sabado Gigante was created by Mario Kreutzberger, 74, a Chilean who plays the grinning presenter on the show, Don Francisco.
No reason was given for the move but more details will be revealed on April 18, an unnamed spokesman for the network told Associated Press news agency.
The network said Don Francisco will continue to work on special programs and a charity television event that has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for disabled children.
Sabado Gigante blends comedy, talent contests, interviews and human-interest stories and has been family viewing for decades.
Over the years, presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama have appeared as guests and singers Enrique Iglesias and Shakira have performed.
“We join Mario’s fans in wishing him all the best as he enters his next chapter,” said Alberto Ciurana, president of programming and content for Univision.
Alberto Ciurano called Mario Kreutzberger “one of the most beloved and legendary entertainers in the world” and an “innovative and inspirational force in the television industry throughout his career”.
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.
In an interview with Spanish-language TV channel Telemundo, President Barack Obama has said US immigration deal could be achieved within six months.
Barack Obama said reform should pass in 2013 and he would put “everything” into securing a deal even sooner.
Obstacles to a deal were political rather than technical, Barack Obama added.
The comments come the day after Barack Obama backed comprehensive immigration reform, and after a group of senators unveiled a similar plan on Monday.
Correspondents say the focus on immigration reflects the growing influence of Hispanic voters.
“I can guarantee that I will put everything I have behind it,” Barack Obama told Telemundo, one of two Spanish-language networks he spoke to on Wednesday.
The president also said he would work with all politicians to achieve reform, including Florida Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican.
Barack Obama’s plan, unveiled at a secondary school in Las Vegas, Nevada on Tuesday, reflects a blueprint he rolled out in 2011.
But while he applauded the Senate effort – put together by a group of four Democrats and four Republicans – the president also warned that if Congress fails to take action on immigration, the White House would write legislation of its own and insist that lawmakers vote on it.
In an interview with Spanish-language TV channel Telemundo, President Barack Obama has said US immigration deal could be achieved within six months
Like the bipartisan plan, the president backed an overhaul of the existing legal immigration system, securing US borders, and offering a pathway to earned citizenship.
But the senators’ proposals would allow undocumented immigrants to start the process of becoming citizens only after US borders are deemed secure, a link that did not feature in the president’s plan.
In a second interview on Wednesday with Spanish-language channel Univision, Barack Obama appeared to diverge from the senators’ plan on that point.
“What we don’t want is to create some vague prospect in the future that somehow comprehensive immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship will happen, you know, manana,” the president said, using the Spanish word for “tomorrow”.
The so-called gang of eight have said they hope their blueprint could pass the Senate by summer.
Politicians in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives are reportedly working on their own immigration framework.