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Univision has announced that it is ending its business relationship with Donald Trump‘s Miss Universe Organization based on what they called “insulting remarks about Mexican immigrants” that Trump has made as he pursues a presidential bid.
“At Univision, we see first-hand the work ethic, love for family, strong religious values and the important role Mexican immigrants and Mexican-Americans have had and will continue to have in building the future of our country,” Univision said in a statement Thursday.
In light of the move, Univision said it will no longer air the Miss USA pageant on July 12 or any other projects tied to the Trump Organization. However, Univision noted that its news divisions will continue to provide comprehensive coverage of all presidential candidates, including Trump.
The media mogul fired back at Univision in a series of tweets on Thursday and an interview with Politico.
“Mexican gov doesn’t want me talking about terrible border situation & horrible trade deals. Forcing Univision to get me to stop- no way!” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Univision wants to back out of signed @MissUniverse contract because I exposed the terrible trade deals that the U.S. makes with Mexico. I love Mexico but not the unfair trade deals that the US so stupidly makes with them. Really bad for US jobs, only good for Mexico.”
During a widely criticized speech announcing his presidency on June 16, Trump referred to Mexican immigrants as “rapists” and as people bringing drugs and crime into the U.S.
“The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems. … When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” Trump said. “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 Miss Universe Organization, which presents the Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss Universe pageants, is a joint venture between Trump and NBCUniversal.
On Wednesday, Latin performer J Balvin pulled out of the Miss USA television broadcast due to Trump’s comments.
The pageant is slated to air live on NBC. The Univision broadcast, on its UniMas Network, was set to be the first time the pageant was simulcast in Spanish.
The Miss Universe Organization and NBC have not yet responded to The Hollywood Reporter‘s request for comment.
Later Thursday, Trump’s executive vice president and special counsel Michael Cohen told Politico that the real-estate mogul was planning to sue Univision for breach of contract and defamation for ending their deal.
“We intend to pursue all legal rights and remedies available to Mr. Trump pursuant to the terms of the license agreement as well as a defamation case against Univision,” Cohen told Politico. “I am at this moment finalizing the retainer agreement with outside counsel.”
Politico added that the $13.5 million five-year deal covered the broadcast rights to the Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants, which Trump told the outlet Univision had no right to terminate.
12:22 p.m. June 25 This story has been updated to reflect Trump’s lawyer telling Politico he intends to sue Univision for breach of contract.
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