NBCUniversal has ended its business relationship with Celebrity Apprentice host and presidential hopeful Donald Trump following “recent derogatory” comments he made directed at Mexican immigrants.
While announcing his presidential bid two weeks ago, the GOP hopeful said, regarding Mexico: “They’re sending people who have lots of problems… They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.”
A petition calling for the U.S. broadcaster to fire the real estate tycoon and reality TV star surfaced soon after on the campaign website Change.org, amassing more than 218,000 signatures in four days.
“At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values. Due to recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump,” reads an NBC statement released June 29.
The Apprentice/Celebrity Apprentice has aired on NBC for 14 seasons, and was in February renewed for a 15th season.
The relationship between NBC and Celebrity Apprentice, which is licensed from Mark Burnett‘s United Artists Media Group, will continue, the network said. However, the annual Miss USA and Miss Universe Pageants – a joint venture between Trump and NBCUniversal – have been pulled from the NBC lineup.
NBC said in a statement last week that Trump’s opinions did not represent those of the broadcaster, and that it did not agree with his positions “on a number of issues, including his recent comments on immigration.”
Trump had previously indicated to the network that he would not be participating as host and producer in the latest edition of Celebrity Apprentice due to his presidential ambitions.