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Univision Fires Rodner Figueroa for Michelle Obama "Planet of the Apes" Comment

TV host fired over Michelle Obama remark 2:04

A popular Univision talk show host has been fired for making derogatory comments about Michelle Obama during a popular television show; the comments were widely circulated on social media.

On the Univision show "El Gordo Y la Flaca," Emmy award-winning host Rodner Figueroa said, "You know Michelle Obama looks like she is of the cast of "The Planet Of The Apes," pointing to a picture of the First Lady. The exchange took place during a segment on makeup transformations by a makeup artist, Paolo Ballesteros, who makes himself look like famous women celebrities.

Univision fired Figueroa; an executive told "People En Español" there was no place for racist comments in the network. Figueroa is also the host of another Univision show, "Sal Y Pimienta."

On Thursday Figueroa released an open letter in Spanish to the First Lady, apologizing and saying he was not a racist and that he comes from a biracial family, adding he was the first openly gay Hispanic TV host. Figueroa said the comments were not meant to be about Michelle Obama but about the makeup artist's transformations to look like the First Lady.

But then Figueroa went on to say Michelle Obama was responsible for his firing from Univision, writing "I was verbally notified that a complaint from your office led to my dismissal." He also blamed Univision executives for a "fury" of information that led to his being "condemned" on social media.

The Office of the First Lady did not respond to a request for comment.

On Twitter and social networks throughout the day, the criticism against Figueroa's comments continued.

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