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Univision drops Miss USA, Miss Universe over Trump comments

NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump’s fledgling GOP presidential bid quickly led to business fallout for him, with Univision saying it will drop the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants and cut all ties with Trump over comments on Mexican immigrants.

The company said Thursday it was canceling its Spanish-language coverage of the Miss USA pageant July 12. It will also ax its planned coverage of the Miss Universe pageant next January and is severing its business relationship with the Miss Universe Organization, which produces both pageants, because of what it called “insulting remarks about Mexican immigrants” by Trump, a part owner of Miss Universe.

NBC remained silent about its scheduled coverage of the Miss USA pageant, which has aired on the network since 2003. But it sought to distance itself from Trump’s remarks.

“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,” NBC said in a statement.

Trump has long been featured on another NBC program, “Celebrity Apprentice,” which is currently on hiatus. The show has been renewed, but the network hasn’t commented on its future since Trump declared his candidacy.

During his presidential campaign kickoff speech last week, Trump portrayed immigrants from Mexico as “bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.” He also called for building a wall along the southern border of the U.S. The remarks drew condemnation from the Mexican government as “biased and absurd.”

In an interview Thursday, Trump said his criticism was directed against U.S. policymakers, not the Mexican people or government, adding that Univision would be defaulting on its contract if it doesn’t air the pageant.

This year’s telecast would have been the first in a five-year deal also including Miss Universe that Trump said “has no termination rights.” He pledged to take legal action against the company.

“At Univision, we see firsthand 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,” said the New York-based Univision Communications Inc.

Trump accused Univision of having ties to Mexico that led the network to submit to pressure from Mexican leaders to punish him for positions he voices as a candidate on the campaign trail.

“They don’t want me saying that Mexico is killing the United States in trade and killing the United States at the border,” Trump said. “Univision is totally laying down for the Mexican government. … They want to silence Donald Trump. And Donald Trump can’t be silenced. … I have great respect for Mexico and I love the Mexican people, but my loyalty is to the United States.”

Univision declined to comment on Trump’s remarks.

In an interview scheduled to air Sunday on Telemundo’s “Enfoque con Jos

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