Donald Trump, known for giving the axe to those who can’t survive the business game, was himself axed by NBC on Monday.
Under intense pressure by Latino groups after making offensive remarks about Mexican immigrants, NBC severed ties with the business mogul. Both the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, jointly owned by NBC and Trump, will no longer air on the network. The Miss USA pageant is scheduled for July 12, and Miss Universe is scheduled for next January.
On Tuesday morning, organizers of Miss USA said "we are disheartened by recent events, but the show will go on." The event, however, currently has no television broadcaster. Contestants from across the country have been preparing for months for the annual event.
Trouble started when Trump, who is running for president as a Republican, expressed his views about immigration at a recent campaign event in Chicago.
"When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best...They're sending people who have lots of problems," Trump said in the speech two weeks ago. "They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists, and some, I assume, are good people."
The other major television broadcaster of the pageant, Univision, canceled it last week due to Trump's involvement. It is unclear whether NBC will seek to sell its stake in the Miss Universe Organization to Trump, acquire Trump's stake from him, or seek another buyer. Its relationship with "Celebrity Apprentice" will continue, as Trump ceased his involvement with the reality show during his presidential bid.
After pulling the plug on the pageants, NBCUniversal, which is owned by Comcast, responded with this statement:
"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."
Politically, the incident created opportunity for other candidates to comment on the immigration issue and condemn Trump’s derogatory statements. That opportunity, however, seems to have been lost. “People who could have spoken out did not speak out,” Felix Sanchez, Chairman and Co-Founder of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts said. “Why didn’t Jeb Bush, whose wife and children are Mexican, not speak out…Why didn’t Hilary Clinton be stronger on this? Where was Bernie Sanders on this?” He added that the Latino community is “fed up with being the scapegoat of the Republican party.”
CNN Senior Media Correspondent Brian Stelter said, “A lot of candidates don’t want to take Trump seriously (as a candidate). They did not want to give him oxygen.” Trump has had short term presidential bids in the last two elections, and pulled out each time before the debates.
In true Trumpian style, the business leader tried to make it appear that the split was the best thing ever. However, it does have an effect on his bottom line. Trump announced that he is suing the broadcaster for $500 million. His involvement with NBC dates back more than a decade. NBCUniversal had no comment on the lawsuit possibility.