The network that airs Donald Trump’s “Celebrity Apprentice” is trying to put some distance between itself and the outspoken presidential candidate.
The Hollywood Reporter’s Live Feed reports: “NBC is evaluating its commitment to the upcoming Miss USA pageant hours after Univision’s decision to drop the program over comments made by Donald Trump, a source tells The Hollywood Reporter.”
In a statement released late Thursday, NBC said: “Donald Trump’s opinions do not represent those of NBC, and we do not agree with his positions on a number of issues, including his recent comments on immigration.”
As we reported yesterday, Univision scrapped its broadcast plans for the Miss USA pageant in response to comments by Trump, a part owner of the pageant. Trump made comments during his presidential campaign kickoff June 16 that insinuated some Mexicans who come to the U.S. are rapists, criminals and drug users.
The Miss USA pageant is set to be broadcast July 12. NBC and Univision have aired it for the past 12 years.
“The Miss Universe Organization, which presents the Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss Universe pageants, is a joint venture between Trump and NBCUniversal that dates back to 2002,” THR notes. “NBCUniversal currently has a five-year, $13.5 million contract with Trump.”
Trump has already threatened to sue Univision for severing ties with the organization, telling Politico: “They have no termination rights whatsoever.”
Politico adds: “Trump, who is running for the Republican presidential nomination, said in a speech earlier this month that he would build a wall to stop Mexico from dumping ‘rapists’ and criminals on U.S. soil. On Wednesday, Trump issued a statement accusing the media of trying ‘to distort my comments regarding Mexico and its great people,’ adding that he has ‘many successful business relationships with Mexican companies and employ, and am close friends with, many Mexican people,’ and that he has ‘tremendous respect for the leaders of Mexico.'”
THR notes: “Trump’s bid for the White House already has put a strain on his various TV ventures. Fox News ended his weekly segment on ‘Fox and Friends’ immediately after his presidential announcement. NBC said it planned to ‘re-evaluate’ Trump’s role as host of ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ after he announced his run, but the network said in a statement: ‘We are committed to this franchise.'”