Wall Street Journal
By Keach Hagey
June 29, 2015
Four days after Univision pulled out of its business relationships with Donald Trump over comments he made about Mexican immigrants, NBC is doing the same.
The broadcast network said on Monday that it will no longer air the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, which it jointly owns with Mr. Trump.
“At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values,” the company said in a statement. “Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump.”
NBC said that Mr. Trump had already announced that he would not be participating in “The Apprentice” on NBC, though “Celebrity Apprentice,” which is licensed by Mark Burnett’s United Artists Media Group, will continue.
Mr. Trump touched off the media firestorm during a speech on June 16 announcing his candidacy for president, in which he promised to build a “great, great wall” on the Mexican border.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” he said. “They’re sending people that have a lot of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
At a press conference in Chicago on Monday, Mr. Trump stood by his comments and said his “stance on immigration is correct.”
“As far as ending the relationship, I have to do that, because my view of immigration is different from the folks at NBC,” Mr. Trump said. “I told NBC, I just can’t change my stance.”
Later on Monday, Mr. Trump released a formal statement confirming he was no longer affiliated with NBC. “NBC is weak, and like everybody else is trying to be politically correct,” he wrote.
The original comments on immigration prompted Miss USA presenter Roselyn Sanchez to drop out of the pageant, scheduled for July 12, as well as Colombian singer J Balvin who was scheduled to play. On Thursday, Univision, the Spanish-language network scheduled to air the pageant, said it was ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump over his “recent, insulting remarks about Mexican immigrants.”
Mr. Trump has accused the Mexican government of putting pressure on Univision to break its contract with the Miss Universe Organization, which puts on both the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, because he had exposed “significant damage that is being done at the southern border.”
Mr. Trump later wrote a letter to Univision CEO Randy Falco saying Univision employees were banned from his golf course in Miami.
As of the end of last week, Comcast Corp.’s NBC had not commented on whether it planned to also air the Miss USA pageant, but tried to distance itself from Mr. Trump’s comments with a statement saying that NBC did “not agree with his positions on a number of issues including his recent comment on immigration.” In the wake of that statement, a petition was posted to Change.org suggesting this was insufficient and calling on NBC to sever ties with Mr. Trump. The petition currently has over 200,000 signatures.
“Univision decided to see principles as a priority instead of business and cut ties with Trump and Miss USA,” wrote Guillermo Castaneda Jr on Change.org, adding, “A large part of your audience is Hispanic and we watch NBC, NBC News and Telemundo. How about looking out for us?”
The Miss Universe Organization didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. The Miss USA pageant brought in $3.87 million in advertising revenue last year, up 30% from $2.96 million the previous year, according to Kantar Media.
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