Colombian Singer Cancels Miss USA Spot Over Donald Trump’s Immigration Comments


Thirty-year-old Colombian-born pop singer J Balvin was scheduled to make his major American debut during next month’s Miss USA pageant, but says that won’t be happening now, due to “racist” comments made about Mexican immigrants by Republican presidential contender Donald Trump.

Balvin pulled out of the show Wednesday, and said Trump, who owns the Miss Universe Organization in a joint venture with NBCUniversal, went too far.

“It was going to be my first performance on national [mainstream] television,” the singer told Billboard from his residence in Medellín, Colombia.

“But we’re talking about our roots, our culture, our values,” he added during his conversation with the music publication. “This isn’t about being punitive, but about showing leadership through social responsibility. His comments weren’t just about Mexicans, but about all Latins in general.”

Among other issues discussed during his June 16 presidential announcement, Trump addressed international trade and problems with immigration.

“The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems,” Trump said. “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.”

The business magnate also posed the question, “When do we beat Mexico at the border?”

“They’re laughing at us, at our stupidity. And now they are beating us economically,” he said. “They are not our friend, believe me. But they’re killing us economically.

“It’s coming from more than Mexico,” Trump also added. “It’s coming from all over South and Latin America, and it’s coming probably — probably — from the Middle East.”

Balvin was reportedly “shocked” by the statements, and immediately pulled out of the show.

“Mexico is a Latin powerhouse,” he told Billboard. “And Mexicans, they’re known as hard workers. Here in the U.S., not everybody wants to do those kinds of jobs. I’ve lived. I know what it feels like and what they go through and how families suffer. A comment like that is powerful.”

“I’m no savior and I’m no Robin Hood,” the pop singer finished. “But in this case, I feel totally comfortable and responsible with my decision.”

The American Spanish language TV network Univision has also announced it is ending its business relationship with the Miss Universe organization, according to NBC News, following Trump’s remarks.

The network released a statement Wednesday, saying, “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.”

Trump was of course unapologetic, and issued a series of statements from his Twitter account on Thursday:

A Fox News poll released Wednesday shows Trump is now in second place, only behind former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, as a favorite to grab the Republican nomination.

The Miss USA pageant is scheduled to air on NBC on July 12.


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