Univision Swiftly Fires TV Host For Saying Michelle Obama Looks Like A Planet Of The Apes Cast Member
Blog ››› ››› CRISTINA LóPEZ G. Versión en español
According to Univision executives, there is no space for racially inflammatory comments on their network. They proved their commitment goes beyond words when they fired host Rodner Figueroa on March 11, within hours of his making an offensive comment on that day's edition of the Univision program El Gordo Y La Flaca.
During a segment discussing a makeup artist who imitates celebrities, Figueroa said first lady Michelle Obama "looks like she's part of the cast of the movie Planet of the Apes." Co-host Raul de Molina quickly pushed back on his comments.
From the March 11 edition of the Univision show El Gordo Y La Flaca:
FIGUEROA: We're going to talk about Paolo Ballesteros, an actor and host of a Philippine talent show. He's a beautiful makeup artist who has become a phenomenon in social media. Through makeup, he's able to transform his face and look like the biggest celebrities of our time. I mean, I wondered how with his face he could end up looking like, I don't know, Kim Kardashian? But through makeup, he's able to go through this incredible transformation and look: he becomes Kim Kardashian. He's in the smaller pictures.
De MOLINA: We should be careful, anyone seeing him would be confused.
FIGUEROA: I'm telling you, you see this guy sitting next to you at a bar looking like that, and you take him home.
De MOLINA: I now know what happened.
FIGUEROA: They say he applies makeup everywhere. Now, look at the transformation into Michelle Obama. This is truly impressive. Look at this: You know that Michelle Obama looks like she's part of the cast of the movie Planet of the Apes. This is a difficult transformation. It's true.
De MOLINA: What do you think you're saying? I think she's a very attractive woman.
FIGUEROA: Raul, this is not about being attractive, do you remember the movie --
De MOLINA: -- stop there now. I think she's a very attractive woman.
Even though the show still features a strand of homophobic humor, with its expedient response to Figueroa's distasteful remarks, Univision set an important standard for Hispanic media by showing racially inflammatory rhetoric should not be tolerated.