Univision host fired for comparing Michelle Obama to 'Planet of the Apes'

Univision host fired for comparing Michelle Obama to 'Planet of the Apes'

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Rodner-figueroa
Univision host and presenter Rodner Figueroa in 2013.

Image: Chris Pizzello/Associated Press

Univision host and presenter Rodner Figueroa was fired on Thursday for racist remarks he made on air about First Lady Michelle Obama.

While filming Wednesday’s episode of El Gordo y la Flaca, a Spanish entertainment news program, Figueroa likened the First Lady to a character from Planet of the Apes.

The comments were made while discussing Paolo Ballesteros, a Filipino actor who famously uses makeup and wigs to style himself like famous celebrities. Figueroa was commenting on a photo of Ballesteros styled in the likeness of Michelle Obama.

Univision confirmed Figueroa’s termination in a statement. The Spanish language network called his comments “completely reprehensible,” stating that they “in no way reflect Univision’s values or views.”

Figueroa penned an open apology letter to Obama, asserting he was fired after the White House lodged a complaint with Univision. The White House declined to comment.

In a statement to CNN Money, a network executive denied that the White House issued a complaint.

Univision has not yet responded to Mashable‘s request for comment.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press

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