Univision Fires Host Rodner Figueroa for Comparing Michelle Obama to Planet of the Apes

Figueroa, an entertainment journalist, interviewing Latin celebrities at an award show.
Figueroa, an entertainment journalist, interviewing Latin celebrities at an award show.
Screencap via YouTube

A racist comment on a talk show broadcasted from Miami has gotten one of Univision's most popular hosts canned.

Rodner Figueroa, best known for hosting the entertainment and gossip show Sal y Pimienta, was guesting on another show, El Gordo y la Flaca, yesterday when he compared First Lady Michelle's appearance to that of the cast of Planet of the Apes.

"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," reads the official Univsion statement. "As a result, Mr. Figueroa was immediately terminated."

During a discussion of a male makeup artist who had gone viral online for painting his face to resemble female celebrities, a picture of Michelle Obama was shown onscreen.

The Venezuelan-born host criticized Obama's body and commented that "she looks like she was from the Planet of the Apes."

The clip went viral, and popular Miami Spanish-language radio and TV host Javier Ceriani posted a clip on his Instagram page tagging the post with #racismo, #despido, and #primeradama.

The comment was later edited out of the West Coast airing of the show.

The talk show is produced by Emilio Estefan, husband of Gloria, and a known supporter of President Barack Obama.

Figueroa had just last year won a Daytime Emmy for his work on Univision. He has so far made no comment or offered an apology.


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