NBC has cut some of its lucrative business ties with Donald Trump following Trump's comments about the United States' relationship with Mexico during his announcement for president on June 16.
"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 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."
NBC responded with this statement: "At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values. Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump. To that end, the annual Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, which are part of a joint venture between NBC and Trump, will no longer air on NBC."
The network did not cancel The Apprentice, saying only that Trump "has already indicated he will not be participating" in the show because he is running for president. "Celebrity Apprentice is licensed from Mark Burnett's United Artists Media Group, and that relationship will continue," NBC stated.
Trump reacted to the decision during a news conference in Chicago: "Whatever they want to do is okay with me," Trump said. "I've had a lot of great relationships with NBC. I think as far as ending the relationship, I have to do that because my view on immigration is much different than the people at NBC."
The Miss USA pageant will be held in Baton Rouge on July 12. Another broadcast or cable network could come forward in the next two weeks to carry the annual event. Last year's pageant drew 5.5 million viewers and was up +8 percent in adults 18-49 viewers from the 2013 broadcast.
Last week, Univision also announced it cut ties with Trump, who then vowed to sue the network.
A Change.org petition began circulating the Internet over the weekend, calling on NBC to take action. It had 217,196 signatures as of this writing.