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TV show host sacked for racial slur about Michelle Obama

Rodner Figueroa co-host was visibly shocked as he made the perceived racist comment

Published: Updated:

A popular television talk show host has been sacked after saying that U.S. First Lady, Michelle Obama looked like a member of the cast of the movie Planet Of The Apes, The Huffington Post reported.

Univision Emmy-winning host Rodner Figueroa made the perceived racist comments during his live segment on the entertainment news Spanish language program El Gordo Y La Flaca.

His comments were made as he spoke about make-up artist Paolo Ballesteros, who had recently transformed himself into various female celebrities using make-up, including Obama.

While comparing his look alongside images of the actual celebrities Figueroa said (in Spanish): “Mind you, you know that Michelle Obama looks like she’s part of the cast of Planet Of The Apes, the film.”

Co-host Raul de Molina immediately attempted damage limitation, saying he thought Obama was very attractive. The racist outburst was televised live on the U.S. East Coast, was later edited for the West.

Vice President of Consumer and Entertainment Public Relations Ivelisse Malave confirmed the sacking and told the website HuffPost in an email: “El Gordo y La Flaca,” Rodner Figueroa made comments about First Lady Michelle Obama that were completely reprehensible and in no way reflect the values or opinions of Univision. As a result, Mr. Figueroa was fired immediately.

It is the second time this week that a popular television host has been in trouble for ill-judged actions and comments.
BBC Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson was suspended this week after admitting to an incident involving a producer from the show.

The Brit has been on a final warning after a succession of incidents, including one where he used an offensive term regarding South Asian people.