Puerto Rican actress Roselyn Sanchez is now the latest to back out of the Miss USA beauty pageant following Republican presidential contender Donald Trump’s June 16 comments on Hispanic immigrants.
Sanchez was scheduled to co-host a Spanish-language simulcast alongside actor Cristian de la Fuente, who also backed out, but announced on Facebook Thursday she will no longer be participating.
“It seems incredible that in his speech to announce his candidacy, has had that lapse of intelligence and decency. Mexicans, like all Latinos, contribute positively to this great nation. We are the force that keeps the country afloat,” she wrote. “I was very excited and grateful for the opportunity to serve as co-host of this great event in which many Latinas have shown, but more excited I have loyalty to my people.”
“Enough of racism and ‘influential’ people belittling us. Univision, thanks for having me and for honoring your audience and cutting relationship with everything that has to do with Trump,” she added.
During his big announcement last week, Trump, who owns the Miss Universe Organization in a joint venture with NBCUniversal, discussed the state of international trade and immigration.
“The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems,” said Trump. “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
“It’s coming from more than Mexico. It’s coming from all over the South and Latin America, and it’s coming probably-probably-from the Middle East,” he added.
The American Spanish language TV network Univision announced this week that it would be cutting ties with the Miss Universe organization following Trump’s remarks.
“At Univision, we see first-hand 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,” the network wrote in a statement Wednesday.
A representative for Trump has since issued a statement to E! News in response to Univision backing out of their deal.
The statement reads:
The Mexican government and others are putting tremendous pressure on Univision to break their signed and fully effective contract with the Miss Universe Organization because Mr. Trump has been exposing to the public, and the world, the significant damage that is being done at the southern border, and the terrible and costly trade deals that the United States is incompetently making with Mexico (these deals are great for Mexico and horrible for the United States).
The statement adds:
Mr. Trump cannot be silenced on this very important problem for the United States. I have great respect for Mexico and love the Mexican people, but my loyalty is to the United States and making our country great again!
Michael Cohen, Executive Vice President and special counsel to Trump, also announced that Trump plans to take legal action against Univision for violating its contract agreement.
“We intend to pursue all legal rights and remedies available to Mr. Trump pursuant to the terms of the license agreement as well as a defamation case against Univision. I am at this moment finalizing the retainer agreement with outside counsel,” Cohen said in a statement.
The Miss USA pageant will air on NBC on July 12.