The show must go on.
The Miss USA Pageant will take place as planned in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on July 12 despite NBC’s decision not to air the competition following Donald Trump‘s controversial comments about Mexicans. There’s no word on what network, if any, will air the beauty queen competition.
“The Miss Universe Organization is built on a foundation of inclusion and continues to be a celebration of diversity and of all cultures,” the group said in a statement Tuesday. “This year’s Miss USA contestants represent many different ethnic backgrounds, including six Latinas (four of whom are of Mexican descent).”
Trump, who co-owns the pageant, is facing backlash after he outlined his immigration stance while announcing his bid for president.
The 69-year-old real estate tycoon stands by his speech, telling PEOPLE, “There is nothing to apologize for. Many bad people are pouring through. I’m not saying just Mexican, many bad people. All you have to do is ask the border patrol.”
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Cheryl Burke and Thomas Roberts also cut ties with the pageant, resigning as Miss USA co-hosts.
“In light of the recent statements made by Donald Trump and the subsequent decision by NBC to cut ties with Mr. Trump, I cannot in good conscience move forward with participating in this year s Miss USA Pageant as its co-host,” Burke, 31, wrote Tuesday on Facebook. “Effective today I have withdrawn from my duties with Miss USA. Although I will not be there in person, I wish all of the contestants much luck as I know how hard they ve all been working over the last year to try and realize their dreams.”
The reigning Miss USA, Nia Sanchez, is part Latina (her grandfather was Mexican). Sanchez, 25, has been silent about the issue but Tweeted a link to the pageant’s statement.
“While world politics and other influences will undoubtedly play a role, the pageant will always seek to transcend controversy,” the Miss Universe Organization continued. “It is unfortunate that recent events beyond our control have only served to negatively impact the women who participate in the pageant, our state directors, our sponsors and our fans. We want our supporters to know we remain committed to them and we will be conducting the pageant, regardless of the current situation.”
• With reporting by ANA CALDERONE