Beverly Hills, Calif. — Reelz Channel is proud to have aired the Miss USA pageant after it was dropped by NBC and Univision because of controversial comments made by Donald Trump.
“We are very proud to stand with the women of the Miss USA pageant and the community of Baton Rouge and bring it to the air,” said Reelz CEO Stan Hubbard, describing the contestants and city as dedicated to the pageant.
“Not one of those people or communities had anything to do with what caused this,” he said during Reelz’s TCA Summer Press Tour presentation Sunday.
Trump, who operates pageant parent the Miss Universe Organization with NBCUniversal, came under fire for comments he made regarding illegal immigrants.
“They're [Mexico] sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us,” said Trump during his presidential campaign announcement in June. “They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
Hubbard was quick to distance himself and the network from Trump, though.
“We completely disavowed ourselves from any of those comments,” he said. “I think they were terrible. I think they were ridiculous.”
The pageant, which aired on Reelz July 12, brought 2.5 million viewers to the network. The broadcast was the second-highest premiere behind The Kennedys, a documentary that was picked up after being dropped by the History Channel.