Miss USA pageant vows: ‘Show will go on’
NEW YORK — Organizers of next month’s Miss USA pageant say “the show will go on,” despite NBC’s decision to not broadcast the event after splitting with Donald Trump.
“We are disheartened by recent events but the show will go on,” the Miss Universe organization said in a statement. “We are moving forward, full-steam ahead as planned for the next two weeks, culminating in the crowning of a new Miss USA on July 12th.”
However, the show currently has no broadcaster.
Before NBC pulled out, Univision, the largest Spanish-language broadcaster in the country, decided last week to end its five-year contract to air the pageant as a protest against Trump’s comments about Mexicans, which he made in announcing his presidential campaign earlier this month.
“While world politics and other influences will undoubtedly play a role, the pageant will always seek to transcend controversy,” the Miss USA pageant said in the statement.
“It is unfortunate that recent events beyond our control have only served to negatively impact the women who participate in the pageant, our state directors, our sponsors and our fans. We want our supporters to know we remain committed to them and we will be conducting the pageant, regardless of the current situation.”
Trump is a partial owner of the organization that oversees both the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants.
The Miss USA pageant is scheduled to be held July 12 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Trump has said that he will sue Univision for the decision, and he indicated on Monday that he may also file a lawsuit against NBC.
NBC’s decision came amid pressure from several Latino groups that objected to Trump’s comments at his presidential campaign launch, where the Republican candidate made disparaging remarks about Mexican immigrants.
Mekahlo Medina, a reporter at an NBC affiliate in California and the head of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, called on NBC to “acquire 100% ownership of the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants and air those events without the shadow of such mistrust and fear Mr. Trump has created.”
For Miss USA contestants, this week was supposed to mark the start of preparations leading up to the pageant in less than two weeks.
Dozens of young women descended upon Baton Rouge this weekend for a chance to win the crown.
The fallout over comments made by Trump seemed to be far from their minds. Many of the contestants took to social media on Sunday and Monday to announce their arrival at the pageant.
“I have officially arrived in Baton Rouge!!” tweeted Sarah Weishuhn, Miss South Carolina USA, on Sunday evening.
On Monday afternoon, a little more than an hour after NBC announced its decision to part with Trump, Miss Tennessee USA Kiara Young announced her arrival on Instagram.
“Hey Baton Rouge!!! Tennessee is here!!” Young wrote.
At least one Miss USA contestant captured the confusion that followed Trump’s ouster. Maureen Montagne, Miss Arizona USA, tweetedon Monday that she did “not have any information other than what is in the media at this moment.”