The Miss USA pageant has found a new home. After NBC fired Donald Trump following his racist comments during his 2016 presidential campaign announcement in June, the mogul’s famed beauty pageant has been picked up by the Reelz channel, the Associated Press reports.
The network tweeted from its official handle on Thursday, July 2, “Exciting news for those who want to #SavetheSash! The #MissUSA pageant is coming to #REELZ.”
Reelz CEO Stan E. Hubbard told the Associated Press, “As one of only a few independent networks, we decided to exercise our own voice and committed ourselves to bringing this pageant to American viewers everywhere,” noting that the women who compete “are an integral part of American tradition.”
The pageant is still set to be held in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Sunday, July 12. Following NBC and Univision’s decision not to air the annual program, the pageant released a statement, confirming it would still go on.
“We are disheartened by recent events but the show will go on,” the statement to Us read. “The Miss Universe Organization operates as an independent company. In its 64 year history, and under many owners, Miss Universe has developed into a globally recognized brand, with nearly 150 franchise holders domestically and internationally, the majority of whom are small business owners.”
Trump, 69, bought the organization in 1996 and brought it to NBC in 2002. The tycoon is still under fire for his comments about Mexican immigrants last month.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” he said in his speech. “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.”
Those comments led Univision to drop the broadcast of the Miss America pageant and subsequently NBC announced it was severing ties with Trump.
“At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values,” the statement to Us Weekly read. “Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump.”
In light of Trump’s comments and the networks’ decisions Spanish co-hosts Roselyn Sanchez and Cristian de la Fuente dropped out as did American co-hosts Cheryl Burke and Thomas Roberts. Performer Flo Rida and judges Emmitt Smith and Jonathan Scott have also backed out. Jeannie Mai has decided to stay on to host, “not in support of Trump but in support of the girls.”
Trump exclusively spoke with Us Weekly several times throughout the debacle, first noting, “There is nothing to apologize for,” in regard to his comments about Mexico, and later adding, “NBC is weak, and like everybody else is trying to be politically correct — that is why our country is in serious trouble.”
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