NBCUniversal has severed its relationship with Donald Trump over his controversial comments about immigrants coming over the Mexico border, dumping the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageant broadcasts and taking steps to end its co-ownership with Trump on the franchises. Trump, in turn, said he’ll see NBC in court.
“At NBC, 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 company said late this morning.
“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 Celebrity Apprentice on NBC.”
Celebrity Apprentice is licensed from Mark Burnett’s United Artists Media Group and that relationship will continue, NBC said.
According to informed sources, the decision to cut ties with Trump is corporate-wide, so don’t look for the pageants to be telecast on any other NBCUniversal network. The pageants are a joint venture between NBCU and Trump; NBCU is taking steps to end that joint venture. NBC already had announced it had ordered another edition of Celebrity Apprentice before Trump made his controversial candidacy announcement. But, since Trump would not be involved in any future editions of the competition series, future participation of his children is extremely unlikely.
Last week Trump said he plans to sue Univision over its announcement it was dumping both pageants.
In a statement, Trump said this afternoon, “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.”
Before issuing this statement, spoke to reporters after a previously scheduled lunch speech in Chicago, and said the relationship is ending because NBCU is taking a “different stance” on the subject of immigration, and suggested the decision to call it a day was his.
“With my statements on immigration, which happen to be correct, [NBC is] going to take a different stance – that’s okay,” he said .
“As far as ending the relationship, I have to do that, because my view on immigration is much different than the people at NBC. You have to stop illegal immigration. I know NBC might disagree with me, but you cannot have illegal immigration.”
NBC’s announcement came one day after Trump told Jake Tapper on CNN’s State of the Union that NBC “would love me to not be doing this. I gave up The Apprentice,” in re running for the White House.
NBC’s decision to dump the pageant follows closely Univision’s announcement it was doing same, and for same reason. Trump said he would “be bringing a major lawsuit against Univision for defamation, and also they owe us a lot of money,” adding, “They have a contract that is ironclad, no termination rights.”
“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,” the broadcast network said back then.
Announcing his candidacy on June 16, ending nearly two decades of flirtation, Trump vowed to build a wall at the Mexico border: “I would build a Great Wall — and nobody build walls better and I will do it very inexpensively – on our southern border and have Mexico pay for it.” The United States, Trump said, has become a dumping ground for Mexico and other country’s “problems.”
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people who have lots of problems and they’re bringing their problems: drugs,…rapists… and some, I assume are good people.”
While his announcement included lots of blunt talk, that’s the statement that caught his pants on fire, so to speak.
In his appearance Sunday on State of the Union, Trump carefully told Tapper, “You have people coming from all over and they’re bad. You have people coming in – and I’m not saying just Mexicans – I’m talking about people that are from all over, that are killers and rapists,” adding, “It’s not Mexicans necessarily. They’re coming from all over.”