American TV network NBC is cutting ties with Donald Trump over “recent derogatory statements” that the veteran businessman made about immigrants.
NBC said the company would now not be airing the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants that are co-owned by Trump.
Responding to the announcement, Trump said he would consider suing NBC.
Earlier this month, he accused Mexicans of adding drugs and crime to the United States as he announced he was seeking the Republican presidential nomination.
“They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists, and some I assume are good people, but I speak to border guards, and they tell us what we are getting,” he said in his speech on June 16.
He also pledged to build a “great wall” on the Ameircan border with Mexico and insisted it would be paid for by Mexicans.
He later insisted he was criticising American lawmakers, not Mexican people.
NBC had faced pressure from Hispanic advocacy groups to drop Trump’s shows and a petition on the Change.org website gathered more than 200,000 signatures.
Today, the network issued a statement saying: “At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values.”
Celebrity Apprentice would continue to be aired, it added, as it is licensed from a separate group. Trump stopped hosting the show when he entered the presidential contest.
He issued a statement shortly after NBC’s announcement, saying he stood by his statements on illegal immigrations, “which are accurate”.
“NBC is weak, and like everybody else is trying to be politically correct –– that is why our country is in serious trouble,” he said.
He claimed the network had violated its contract and said the move would be “determined in court”.
NBC is the second network to drop the divisive politician after Univision, one of the largest American Spanish-language broadcasters, also ended its coverage of Miss USA.
After being dropped by Univision last week, Trump accused the Mexican government of pressuring the network, saying: “They want to silence Donald Trump. And Donald Trump can’t be silenced.”
Even if his commercial prospects are taking a battering, Trump’s political fortunes seem to be improving.
Polls suggest he is running second to former Florida Governor Jeb Bush in the crowded field of Republican hopefuls.