Is it too late to cancel?
Todd Newton and Alex Wehrley will host the Miss USA Pageant, replacing the show's original emcees just days before Sunday's telecast. Newton, a Daytime Emmy Award winner, and Wehrley, a former Miss Wisconsin USA, were hired Tuesday. OK! TV's Julie Alexandria will comment from backstage. The trio signed on after most of the original hosts, judges and presenters backed out of the show in light of Donald Trump's inflammatory comments about Mexican immigrants.
"As a TV host there are few stages more iconic than that of #MissUSA. Politics play no part. For me it's all about putting on a great show," Newton tweeted Tuesday. The next morning, he tweeted, "We're going to give em the show they deserve."
While announcing his 2016 Presidential candidacy, Trump described Mexican immigrants as "rapists" who are "bringing drugs" and "bringing crime" to the United States. NBCUniversal promptly cut ties with the pageant and Trump. Not too long after, Reelz network vowed to broadcast the July 12 event instead.
"The decision on the part of REELZ to acquire the rights to the Miss USA Pageant was based on our belief that this special event, and the women who compete in it, are an integral part of American tradition," Stan E. Hubbard, CEO of Reelz, explained in a statement last week. "As one of only a few independent networks, we decided to exercise our own voice and committed ourselves to bringing this pageant to American viewers everywhere. For us, this decision is about the dreams of the contestants who come from all walks of life across the United States, the city of Baton Rouge that has proudly come together to host this pageant and the viewers who will be watching and celebrating its 54th year on television."
The pageant will also be streamed on Miss USA's website.
J Balvin, Craig Wayne Boyd, Cheryl Burke, Flo Rida, Jeannie Mai, Thomas Roberts, Jonathan Scott and Emmitt Smith are among those who have quit the pageant due to Miss USA co-owner Trump's controversial immigration comments.
Mexico has also pulled out of the international competition.
Univision was the first television partner to cut ties with the Miss Universe Organization as a result of Trump's remarks. The network's contract stipulated that it would pay $13.5 million over five years to simulcast Miss USA in Spanish. Trump is suing Univision for $500 million. NBC followed suit by removing the pageant from its lineup and "ending its business relationship" with Trump. Additionally the business magnate will no longer host The Apprentice, NBCUniversal announced.