NEW YORK (KRON/AP) — NBC said Monday that it is ending its business relationship with Donald Trump because of comments he made about Mexican immigrants during the announcement of his GOP presidential campaign.
NBC 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 event was set to be broadcast on July 12; NBC said it has not yet determined what will air in its place.
The move comes after Spanish language media giant Univision last week cut business ties with Trump over his comments about Mexican immigrants.
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. Trump later said that his remarks were directed at U.S. policymakers, not the Mexican government or its people.
NBC said that it has already begun exploring ways to air future seasons of the reality series “Celebrity Apprentice” without Trump as host. Reality show producer Mark Burnett continues to work on that show. “The Apprentice,” which Trump also hosted and does not feature celebrities, is on hiatus.
“At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values,” NBC said in a statement.
Following NBC’s announcement, Trump said he’ll consider suing the network. Trump told reporters in Chicago on Monday that he’s not apologizing for his comments and that if his “strong stance” on immigration fuels NBC’s decision, he’s fine with it.
After Univision’s decision last week Trump promised to take legal action against that company for violating a five-year contract.
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.