TV star sacked for saying Michelle Obama looked like Planet of the Apes character



Rodner Figueroa made the remark during an appearance on the popular talk show El Gordo y La Flaca a day earlier while discussing the work of a make-up artist who copies the looks of famous people.

“Look, you know that Michelle Obama looks like she’s part of the cast of the film Planet of the Apes,” said Mr Figueroa in Spanish.

The comparison quickly drew accusations of racism.

“Rodner Figueroa made comments regarding Lirst Lady Michelle Obama that were completely reprehensible and in no way reflect Univision’s values or views,” the Miami-based Univsion network said in a statement.

“As a result, Mr Figueroa was immediately terminated.”

Mr Figueroa had served as a fashion expert on Univision, among other roles, and he was seated next to the two main hosts of the show Raul De Molina and Lili Estefan when he made the remark.

Ms Estefan responded with, “What are you saying?” and Mr De Molina interjected to say that Michelle Obama was attractive.

Mr Figueroa, in an open letter to the First Lady posted on the website Latin World Entertainment, wrote in Spanish that his comments were not directed at Michelle Obama but toward the make-up artist who had sought to replicate her look.

“I feel mortified, and I ask for your forgiveness, because there is no excuse for a professional like myself to make a comment like that which can be interpreted as offensive and racist in these volatile times that our country is experiencing,” he wrote.


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