Cheryl Burke, the Dancing with the Stars performer who’d also agreed to co-host this year’s Miss USA Pageant with MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts, released a statement this afternoon saying she can’t host anymore. The cause, as with so many of the world’s ills, is Donald Trump.
NBC cut ties with Donald Trump Monday over his statements that Mexicans coming into the United States are rapists and criminals, statements for which he is not sorry. Today, Burke announced on Facebook that she too is out:
In light of the recent statements made by Donald Trump and the subsequent decision by NBC to cut ties with Mr. Trump, I cannot in good conscience move forward with participating in this year’s Miss USA Pageant as its co-host. Effective today I have withdrawn from my duties with Miss USA. Although I will not be there in person, I wish all of the contestants much luck as I know how hard they’ve all been working over the last year to try and realize their dreams.
That leaves Miss USA minus one co-host and one TV network, the latter of which is actually a huge problem. TMZ reports that the Miss Universe Organization, Miss USA’s parent org, is secretly trying to get NBC to change their minds: “[E]xecutives who run Miss USA day-to-day are starting a petition, asking everyone associated with the pageant and others to send emails to NBC CEO Steve Burke.”
As with any good beauty pageant pro, though, Miss USA is smiling extra super hard and sunnily posting Instagrams, writing yesterday, “We are disheartened by recent events but the show will go on.” They add that women of all backgrounds are welcome to enter the competition, and say it’s unfortunate that “events beyond our control” will impact the contestants and organization staffers.
If you are a current or former Miss USA contestant, staff member, or someone in any way connected with the organization, and you’d like to tell us about how Donald Trump is messing up the lives of these young women, email us here. We will protect your privacy.
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Image via AP.