First lady Michelle Obama was compared as one of the ape characters in the movie Planet of the Apes by popular Univision commentator Rodner Figueroa.
By H. Nelson Goodson
Hispanic News Network U.S.A.
March 12, 2015
Miami – On Thursday, Univision released a statement that Rodner Figueroa, 42, a popular fashion critic TV host from the Sal y Pimienta (Salt and Pepper) Program has been fired after making a racist remark about First Lady Michelle Obama on the Wednesday show of El Gordo y la Flaca. Figueroa was talking about make-up and he told the audience, “you all know that Michelle Obama looks like the characters of the Planet of the Apes.” That comment went viral on social networks and Univision immediately fired Figueroa on Wednesday. Univision stated that Figueroa had made “a reprobable comment and did not reflect the opinion of Univision…as a result Figueroa was separated from the company.”
Figueroa was making comments about the make-up artist Paolo Ballesteros who transforms himself to look like female celebrities.
Figueroa released a statement on Thursday saying that he sent a letter of apology to Michelle Obama’s Office at the White House. He said that he is the first openly Gay fashion critic TV host on Univision and his comment was misinterpreted and that he is not a racist. Figueroa felt humiliated by Univision for the way they handled the news covering his termination without conducting an internal investigation by the company. Figueroa says, that he was fired after the Office of the First Lady Obama complained to Univision about his racist remark that compared Michelle to the cast of the Planet of the Apes.
Figueroa has accepted the consequences for his error, but didn’t explain why he compared Michelle to the Apes in the movie sequel.
Figueroa had worked at Univision for 17 years.
Rodner Figueroa’s racist remark in Spanish on Univision: https://youtu.be/ZyjENuhxK0E