Donald Trump’s Miss USA pageant is turning into an episode of “Survivor” instead of the beauty contest it’s supposed to be. “Dancing With the Stars” alum Cheryl Burke, who was supposed to co-host the July 12 show, stepped down Tuesday after the businessman faced unrelenting backlash for offensive comments he made about Mexican immigration.
“In light of the recent statements made by Donald Trump and the subsequent decision by NBC to cut ties with Mr. Trump, I cannot in good conscience move forward with participating in this year’s Miss USA Pageant as its co-host,” said Burke in an official statement Tuesday. “Effective today I have withdrawn from my duties with Miss USA.” Burke completed her statement by wishing the contestants the best of luck.
Burke is the third co-host to drop out, following actors Roselyn Sanchez and Cristian de la Fuente. For now, MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts is still on board, the Associated Press wrote.
— Cheryl Burke (@CherylBurke) June 30, 2015
Trump, in a June 16 speech announcing his run for the presidency, said Mexicans who illegally crossed the border were rapists and criminals who brought drugs into the U.S. At the end of his statement, he added that some of them were good. A week after the speech, NBC announced it would not air the Miss USA pageant.
Despite the network’s decision, the show will go on and “seek to transcend controversy,” the Wrap wrote. As scheduled, reigning Miss USA Nia Sanchez will hand over her crown to a new beauty queen July 12. Sanchez has continued to ignore the controversy on social media, and instead has promoted Miss USA on her official Twitter account.
— Nia Sanchez (@MissUSA) June 30, 2015
NBC’s decision not to air the pageant only infuriated Trump, 69. The real estate mogul said the network was “so weak” and that he would take them to court for breaking their agreement. Trump was also “fired” from “The Celebrity Apprentice,” the show where he eliminated contestants with the words "You’re fired.” The show will continue to air on NBC, but without Trump as its host.
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