Rodner Figueroa Univision Fired
The Spanish-language network felt threatened by the host and fired him with the excused he offended the First Lady, according to his lawyer. Reuters

Was Rodner Figueroa's firing from Univision over his Michelle Obama remarks only a smokescreen? Turns out the real reason the Spanish-language network gave him the ax was because the former "El Gordo y La Flaca" host was rallying up supporters to unionize the talent at the studio. Martin Singer, Figueroa's attorney, sent a letter to the network that says Univision "did not have a problem with my client’s remarks during the delay when it could have exercised its discretion to do so." He also says that the tv station never received a complaint from the White House and it was all a fib to get the host out of there before stirring up more drama behind-the-scenes. The letter ends with a reference to Rosa Parks: "Make no mistake, despite Univision’s best efforts, Latino talent will not be forced to ‘sit on the back of the bus’ any longer." Figueroa wants his job back and a public apology from the network.

On March 11, Rodner Figueroa did a segment on an artist that uses make-up to look like celebrities. One of these famous personalities was the First Lady of the U.S., Michelle Obama, to which Figueroa said she looked like part of the cast of "Planet of the Apes." The majority of people that watched the clip believe that Figueroa was in fact referring to Obama, but he contends he was talking about the make-up artist himself. Following the airing of the segment he was let go and the following day, Univision released the following statement: "Yesterday during our entertainment program 'El Gordo y La Flaca' Rodner Figueroa made comments regarding First Lady Michelle Obama that were completely reprehensible and in no way reflect Univision's values or views. As a result, Mr. Figueroa was immediately terminated."

Following his termination from the network, Colgate followed suit and dropped him as spokesperson for their brand. Figueroa also issued an open letter directed at Michelle Obama. The former "Sal y Pimienta" host is asking for forgiveness in an open letter to Obama. Figueroa doesn't want to be deemed a racist and feels Univision is humiliating him after the turn of events. "I offer my sincerest apologies for a comment that I made about the characterization from a make-up artist that I made about you in the Univision entertainment program 'El Gordo y La Flaca,'" the letter read. "I want to make it clear that I'm not racist and it was directed personally to you, but to the characterization of the artist, that left a lot to be desired. The clip in full context is proof." Read the letter in full here!

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