A SPANISH-language American television network announced on Thursday it had fired a presenter for comments in which he likened the US First Lady Michelle Obama to a character in the film Planet of the Apes.
Rodner Figueroa made the remark during an appearance on a popular talkshow a day earlier, while discussing the work of a make-up artist who copies the looks of famous people. “Look, you know that Michelle Obama looks like she’s part of the cast of the film Planet of the Apes.”
The comparison quickly drew accusations of racism.
The Miami-based Univision said: “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.”
Figueroa served as a fashion expert and he was seated next to the two main hosts of the show, Raul De Molina and Lili Estefan, when he made the remark.
Figueroa, in an open letter posted on an entertainment website, wrote his comments were not directed at Michelle Obama but toward the make-up artist who had sought to replicate her look.