NEW YORK -- Univision says it is dropping the Miss USA pageant and says it will cut all business ties with Donald Trump over comments he made about Mexican immigrants.
The network said Thursday it will not air the July pageant and has ended its business relationship with the Miss Universe Organization, which produces the Miss USA pageant, due to what it called “insulting remarks about Mexican immigrants” by Trump, a part owner of Miss Universe.
During his presidential campaign kickoff speech last week, Trump accused Latino immigrants of bringing drugs, crime and rapists to the U.S. He called for building a wall along the southern border of the U.S.
Trump says he was only criticizing U.S. policies concerning Mexico, not its people. He says Univision is in default of a five-year contract.
The Miss USA pageant is scheduled to arrive in Baton Rouge this July for the second year in a row. It’s been lauded as an economic win for the Capitol Region that will be flooded with visitors who will fill hotel rooms and restaurants. The pageant heavily featured Baton Rouge last year, which city-parish leaders said provided a value of millions of dollars of advertising.
While the contract dispute with Univision means that the pageant won’t air on that Spanish-language network, it will still be aired in other countries.
When Baton Rouge Mayor President Kip Holden announced the return of Miss USA for 2015, he made note of the international exposure the pageant provides for Baton Rouge.
“We’ll get publicity that will be seen all over the world,” he said.
Advocate staff writer Rebekah Allen contributed to this report.
Editor’s Note: This article was changed on Friday, June 26, to note the Miss USA pageant will still air in other countries, although it will not be shown on Univision’s Spanish-language network.