Fired Univision host Rodner Figueroa is now backpeddling on the Planet of the Apes comment he made about Michelle Obama. Figueroa penned an open letter to the first lady stating that he was only fired because a complaint came from someone in her office and that he’s not racist.
The lengthy letter stated that as one of the first open gay hosts on Latin television and being half black himself, he would never make a racist comment.
“Respected First Lady Michelle Obama,
I offer my sincere apologies for a comment he made about the characterization that made you with a makeup artist in the entertainment program Univision’s “El Gordo y la Flaca” yesterday, and was misinterpreted.
I want to clarify that I am not racist in any way my comment was directed towards you, but towards the characterization of the artist, who left much to be desired. The entire video clip in context proves it.
I feel embarrassed, I apologize, because there is no excuse for a professional like me to do this type of comments that can be interpreted as offensive and racist in such volatile times in our country. I take responsibility for this lack of judgment on my part, but I can not accept being called a racist by anyone and be dismissed as such, and publicly humiliated by Univision after 17 years in this business.
I come from a family bi-racial America, with family, like my father, Afro-Latin race. I am the first openly gay Hispanic TV presenter and I’ve been an activist for causes in favor of minorities, as I have been discriminated against. I voted openly twice by her husband, Barack Obama, because I consider it a great man who respects minorities, like me, in this country.
I worked on two programs where Univision commented the look of many celebrities, including royalty and first Latin ladies and I have never offended anyone by their skin color, sexual orientation or nationality. I am a decent person, but a human being after all and make mistakes like this. And so unpleasant and offline that has been interpreted my comment did not deserve to be called a racist, and I have to defend myself out of respect and love for my family, my father, my fans and my community.
I was verbally notified that a complaint was dismissed from his office, and leaking information from Univision executives, I was sentenced on social networks trying to destroy my career unfairly, without even having officially notified by writing without an investigation that would enable clarify the situation.
Again, I offer a humble apology for the misunderstanding and take responsibility.
Very respectfully, Rodner Figueroa “
What’s that saying, “too little, too late”?
Yup, pretty much.