’Racist’ comment about Paolo Ballesteros’s Michelle Obama transformation results to firing of popular TV host

Natanggal sa kanyang trabaho ang sikat na talk show host na si Rodner Figueroa (kaliwa) dahil sa diumano’y ’racist’ comment niya tungkol kay US First Lady Michelle Obama (kanan), matapos ipakita ang make-up transformation ng Filipino TV host-actor na si Paolo Ballesteros (gitna) kunsaan ginaya niya si Michelle.


Dahil sa isang 'racist' remark sa make-up transformation ng Filipino TV host-actor na si Paolo Ballesteros bilang si US First Lady Michelle Obama, natanggal sa trabaho ang Emmy-winning talk show host at fashion expert na si Rodner Figueroa.

Sa live episode ng show na El Gordo y la Flaca (The Scoop and the Skinny) ng Univision network noong March 12, pinag-usapan nila ang make-up transformation ni Paolo into A-list celebrities; ‘tulad nina Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lopez, Ariana Grande, Jennifer Lawrence, Cher, at US First Lady Michelle Obama.

Nang ipakita ang transformation ni Paolo into Michelle Obama ay sinabi ni Figueroa ang mga sumusunod:

“Well, watch out, you know that Michelle Obama looks like she’s from the cast of Planet of the Apes, the movie...”

Mabilis na nag-react ang co-host ng show na si Raul de Molina para mapagtakpan ang sinabi ni Figueroa.

Baka raw ang ibig sabihin ng 42-year old Venezuelan host ay “beautiful and attractive” si First Lady Michelle Obama.

Ang nasabing insidente ay ini-report ng isang independent radio host na si Javier Ceriano sa kanyang social media account.

Ipinost niya ang naturang video sa kanyang Instragram account at marami ang nakapanood nito at sari-saring komento ang nakuha nito.

Dahil sa ginawang ito ni Figueroa, tinanggal siya sa kanyang mga trabaho sa Univision network.

Ang Univision ay isang American Spanish language broadcast television network na pag-aari ng Univision Communications.

Naglabas din ang Univision ng isang statement upang kumpirmahin ang pagkatanggal ni Figueroa sa kanilang shows.

“Yesterday during the entertainment program ‘El Gordo y La Flaca,’ Rodner Figueroa made some comments about First Lady Michelle Obama that were completely reprehensible and in no way a reflection of the values and opinions of Univision.

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

Tinanggal na rin si Figueroa sa talent page ng website ng Univision kunsaan nagtrabaho siya for the past 17 years.

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Hindi na rin siya mapapanood sa isa pang show na Sal y Pimienta (Salt and Pepper), at tinanggal na rin siya bilang host ng beauty pageant na Nuestra Belleza Latina (Our Latin Beauty) na parehong produced ng Univision.

LETTER OF APOLOGY. Kaugnay nito, gumawa ng letter of apology si Figueroa kay First Lady Michelle Obama dahil sa kanyang naging komento.

Na-misinterpret lang daw ang kanyang sinabi on television, at hindi raw niya matatanggap na tawagin siyang "racist":

“I want to clarify that I am not racist in any way.

“My comment was not directed toward you, but toward the characterization of the artist, who left much to be desired.

“The entire video clip in context proves it.

“I take responsibility for this lack of judgment on my part, but I cannot accept being called a racist by anyone and be dismissed as such.”


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