More consequences for Donald Trump after his comments about Mexican immigrants: NBC dumped his beauty pageants and reiterated he will not be in The Apprentice anymore.
The network, which has been under pressure to fire Trump since last week when Univision announced it would not air Trump's Miss USA pageant in Spanish, said in a statement that "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 statement said.
"To that end, the annual Miss USA and Miss Universe Pageants, which are part of a joint venture between NBC and Trump, will no longer air on NBC. In addition, as Mr. Trump has already indicated, he will not be participating in The Apprentice on NBC," because he is an announced Republican candidate for president.
"Celebrity Apprentice is licensed from Mark Burnett's United Artists Media Group and that relationship will continue," the network added.
Trump announced he is running for president two weeks ago in a rambling kick-off speech that included his plans to control illegal immigration: He said he would build a "great wall" and make Mexico pay for it because Mexico is "sending" people who are rapists, drug dealers and criminals, and a few "good people," too.
This proved too much for the leading Spanish-language network, Univision, which serves millions of Mexicans and Mexican Americans in the USA, and had a contract with the Miss Universe organization (Trump is a part-owner) to air the Miss USA pageant on July 12 in Spanish.
But the network declared that Trump's rhetoric about Mexicans (he did not mention other Latino groups or the Canadian border, for instance) was insulting and offensive.
Trump, as is his wont, went ballistic, threatened to sue Univision for backing out of an "ironclad" contract, declared he didn't say what he was videotaped saying, and went on multiple political and entertainment shows, besides tweeting, to try to walk back what he said and explain that he really is very fond of Mexicans.
Many people weren't buying it, such as the more than 200,000 people who signed a Change.org petition calling on NBC to fire Trump.
"Please cancel Miss USA, Miss Universe and the Apprentice," the petition read. "You are supporting a hateful and narcissistic individual without any kind of values, both personal and business wise. Not only that, but you are supporting a growing trend of bigotry and division in this country."
NBC, which has had to deal with some embarrassments recently (the Brian Williams debacle), could not have been happy to be accused of seeming to support bigotry.
Trump, meanwhile, continues to deny he's a bigot. But reporters found him in Chicago where he was giving a speech to the City Club of Chicago.
Trump claimed he fired himself from NBC, according to The Wrap, because the network did not want him to run for president. And he's OK with it.
"They wanted me to do The Apprentice," Trump said. "And now with my statements on immigration, which happen to be correct, they are going to take a different stance and that's OK. Whatever they want to do is OK with me.
"As far as ending the relationship, I have to do that because my view on immigration is much different than the people at NBC."
Later, he issued a more defiant statement in which he stood by his comments about Mexicans and labeled NBC "weak and foolish" for not agreeing with him.
"If NBC is so weak and so foolish to not understand the serious illegal immigration problem in the United States, coupled with the horrendous and unfair trade deals we are making with Mexico, then their contract violating closure of Miss Universe/Miss USA will be determined in court," he said. "Furthermore, they will stand behind lying Brian Williams, but won't stand behind people that tell it like it is, as unpleasant as that may be."
Does this mean he's going to sue NBC as he has threatened to sue Univision? Stay tuned.
Source: NBC dumps Trump