Brendan McDermid / Reuters

Ora TV, NBC, Univision cut ties with Trump over remarks about Mexicans

Networks drop Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants after presidential hopeful calls Mexican immigrants criminals

Ora TV, a television company controlled by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim, has canceled a project with U.S. presidential hopeful Donald Trump for disparaging comments he made earlier this month about Mexicans. The company is the third in a week to cut ties with Trump, after similar announcements by NBC Universal and Spanish-language broadcaster Univision.

Ora TV on Monday canceled a program it was working on with some of Trump's companies, Slim's spokesman and son-in-law Arturo Elias said.

"His statement was totally out of line ... working with someone so closed-minded was not going to work," Elias said, adding that the comments were racist.

Trump, who is seeking the Republican nomination for president in 2016, described Mexican immigrants as drug runners and rapists during his campaign kickoff speech on June 16.

"They're bringing drugs, they're bringing crime, they're rapists, and some I assume are good people," he said during his campaign announcement at Trump Tower on Manhattan's Fifth Avenue.

He also advocated building a wall along the United States’ southern border to keep Mexican immigrants out.

Ora TV’s announcement came shortly after NBC said that it would no longer air the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, which are produced by the Miss Universe Organization, a 50/50 joint venture between Trump and NBCUniversal.

The popular pageants will no longer air on NBC "due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants," the company said in a press statement. The company also said it is exploring ways to continue Trump’s hit show, “Celebrity Apprentice,” without him.

The decision by Comcast-owned NBC was announced four days after Univision said it would not air the Miss USA pageant and severed ties to the Miss Universe Organization.

A representative for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment on news of Ora TV’s cancellation. However, Trump’s lawyer earlier said he planned to sue NBC.

After a campaign speech before the City Club of Chicago on Monday, Trump said that he anticipated losing some business relationships and that he wouldn’t apologize for his statements because they “were correct.”

"Whatever they want to do is OK with me," he told reporters in Chicago.

In a statement issued by his company in New York, Trump said, "NBC is weak and, like everybody else, is trying to be politically correct. That is why our country is in serious trouble."

The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a group of 39 Latino advocacy organizations, called on NBC to get out of business with Trump. Similarly, a petition urging the same thing on the Change.org website gathered more than 218,000 signatures.

In a sense, NBC's hand was forced by Univision's decision. NBC's parent company, NBCUniversal, owns Telemundo, Univision's chief competitor to among Spanish-language networks in the United States. Telemundo lost the contract to air Miss USA and Miss Universe to Univision.

"If they need and value the Latino community, they needed to show they knew the depth of the insult that came from Trump," said Felix Sanchez, an organizer for the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda.

Dozens of protesters — from immigrant and Latino rights groups — waited outside a downtown Chicago restaurant where Trump spoke. Their chants included "No more hate!"

Maritza Vaca, with the Chicago-based Accion Hispano, said immigrants have rights and was upset by Trump's comments. "It is racism," she said. "For him to be running for president is ridiculous."

Wire services                      

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