Under pressure from Hispanic groups, NBC severed all ties with Republican presidential contender Donald Trump on Monday, and according to a report, the network is specifically eyeing minority candidates to replace him on Celebrity Apprentice.
In addition to announcing it would be dumping the July 12 Miss USA pageant, NBC announced Trump would not be returning to Apprentice.
“At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values,” the network said Monday. “Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump.”
TMZ is reporting as an opportunity to make a “powerful statement” discrediting Trump’s campaign platform on immigration, a minority host is being “seriously considered” by NBC.
Trump launched the acclaimed and unscripted reality series in 2004.
The business tycoon started a firestorm during his June 16 presidential announcement, specifically regarding comments he made about illegal immigration and international trade.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best… They’re sending people who have lots of problems,” Trump said. “They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.”
“Mr. Trump stands by his statements on illegal immigration, which are accurate,” a press release from Trump’s campaign responded Monday. “NBC is weak, and like everybody else is trying to be politically correct— that is why our country is in serious trouble.”
The release added:
We must have strong borders and not let illegal immigrants enter the United States. As has been stated continuously in the press, people are pouring across our borders unabated. Public reports routinely state great amounts of crime are being committed by illegal immigrants. This must be stopped and it must be stopped now. Long ago I told NBC that I would not being doing The Apprentice because I am running for President in order to Make our Country Great Again.
Trump concluded: “they[NBC] will stand behind lying Brian Williams, but won’t stand behind people that tell it like it is, as unpleasant as that may be.”