Rodner Figueroa has issued a public apology to First Lady Michelle Obama days after he was fired from his hosting gig on Univision for saying she looks like “she’s from the cast of ‘Planet of the Apes.'”
During a segment on Univision’s “El Gordo y La Flaca,” Figueroa was discussing a makeup artist who transforms himself to look like famous women. That’s when Rodner stated, “Well, watch out, you know that Michelle Obama looks like she’s from the cast of ‘Planet of the Apes,’ the movie.”
According to reports, the network received a complaint about the remarks directly from the FLOTUS’ office and Univision booted Rodner Figueroa with the quickness.
In a written statement, Figueroa apologized to the First Lady. He also took responsibility for his remarks, which he says were in poor taste and misunderstood.
Rodner went on to explain his comments were actually directed towards the makeup artist, who left much to be desired in his depiction of Michelle Obama. He continued to prove he isn’t a racist by describing his multi-cultural family and added that he openly voted for President Obama twice.
Esteemed First Lady Michelle Obama,
I offer my sincere apology for an unfortunate comment I made about a make-up artist’s depiction of you on Univision’s show “El Gordo y La Flaca” yesterday. It was clearly in bad taste and misunderstood.
I would like to explain that my remark was not directed at you, but at the result of an artist’s depiction of you that I found wasn’t accurate. The entire video clip in context corroborates this.
I feel embarrassed, and I hope you can forgive me, because there is no excuse. As a professional, I hold myself to high standards and there is no justification for someone at my level to make any kind of comment that could be interpreted as offensive or disrespectful to you personally, or to any minority in the times we live. I accept full responsibility for this lack of judgement on my part, but I cannot accept being labeled a racist by Univision, for whom I have worked for 17 years, or to anyone who may have misinterpreted my comments.
I come from a multi-racial Hispanic family, with relatives, like my own father, who are Afro-Latino. I am the first openly gay Hispanic TV host and I’ve been a minority activist throughout my career, championing a number of causes geared towards supporting minorities; people who, like me, have been the focus of discrimination. Moreover, I openly voted twice for your husband Barack Obama, because I esteem him as a great man who has done a great deal for minorities in this country.
I’ve worked on two entertainment shows at Univision where I have commented on the look of many celebrities, including royal families and First Ladies of Latin America. I’ve never critiqued anyone because of his or her skin color, sexual orientation or nationality. I am, in my humble opinion, a decent person, but at the end of the day, a human being. I’ve made my share of mistakes, but never like this. And, as distasteful and out of line as my comment could have been perceived, I don’t believe I deserve to be branded a racist. I hope you understand that I have an obligation to defend myself out of respect and love for my family, my father, my fans and my community.
I was notified verbally in a phone call by a Univision executive that, because of a complaint received from your office, my employment was being terminated. In an attempt to what I believe was a move to damage my career, Univision leaked this information to the media and I have been condemned for my comments in social networks and the media. I never received an official written notice of termination or an opportunity to clear the situation and provide my side of the story.
Again, I offer a humble and sincere apology for the misunderstanding, and assume my responsibility.
Is it me or does this apology have a little stank on it? How can you be sincere and snippy at the same time?