NBC announced Monday that the network was cutting ties with Donald Trump over the Republican presidential candidate’s recent statements about Mexican immigrants.
“At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values. Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump,” the network said in a statement.
The decision effectively cancels the annual airings of the Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants, which are co-owned by Trump and NBC. The statement also said Trump won’t appear as the host in the reality show “The Apprentice” this fall, a choice made by Trump to allow more time to focus on his presidential run.
And although Trump is the producer of “The Celebrity Apprentice,” NBC said the show will continue without its mainstay host.
NBC’s announcement comes after a Change.org petition of more than 200,000 signatures asked the network to fire the mogul over a string of comments that have portrayed Mexican immigrants, among other things, as “bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people” at his inaugural campaign speech.
Video by PBS NewsHour
Trump’s office said he stood by his statements on Mexican immigrants, maintaining their accuracy.
“NBC is weak, and like everybody else is trying to be politically correct — that is why our country is in serious trouble,” the statement from Trump’s office read.
“We must have strong borders and not let illegal immigrants enter the United States,” Trump’s quoted as saying in the statement. “As has been stated continuously in the press, people are pouring across our borders unabated. Public reports routinely state great amounts of crime are being committed by illegal immigrants. This must be stopped and it must be stopped now.”
Trump called NBC’s pageant cancellations a contract violation that “will be determined in court” and criticized the network for standing behind “lying Brian Williams” and failing to “stand behind people that tell it like it is, as unpleasant as that may be.”
Univision, the nation’s biggest Spanish-language television network, canceled the broadcasts for the pageants last week over Trump’s “insulting remarks.”
Trump has said he would pursue legal action against Univision for canceling its coverage of the pageants.