NBC has formally cut business ties with business giant and 2016 presidential candidate Donald Trump over controversial remarks made about Mexicans.
According to NBC News, the network will no longer air the Miss USA pageant, which was scheduled for July 12; nor will it air the Miss Universe pageant, which was to be aired next year. The pageants were jointly owned by the network and Trump.
"At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values," NBC said in a statement. "Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump."
Earlier this month, while announcing his candidacy in the 2016 presidential race, Trump said, "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots 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."
The comment drew the ire of many individuals, especially in the Hispanic community. Spanish-language broadcaster Univision tossed a five-year contract with Trump through which the company was meant to air the two pageants.
Advocates were urging NBC to follow Univision's lead, but the joint ownership of the pageants presented quite the dilemma, CNN notes. Soon, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists added its name to the list of protesters. According to CNN, South California NBC reporter Mekahlo Medina, the president of NAHJ, wrote, "[We] encourage NBC to acquire 100 percent ownership of the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants and air those events without the shadow of such mistrust and fear Mr. Trump has created."
An online petition at Change.org was also started, garnering more than 200,000 signatures for those calling on the network to cut Trump loose.