NBC draws distance from Donald Trump over Mexican 'rapists' comment

NBCUniversal appears to be joining a raft of dissenters turned off by comments the Republican presidential hopeful made about immigrants during a campaign speech.

'Trump’s opinions do not represent those of NBC,' said the network in a statement

Donald Trump, left, and Miss Connecticut USA Erin Brady pose onstage after Brady won the 2013 Miss USA pageant in Las Vegas. NBCUniversal, who has partnered with Trump in his Miss USA, Miss Universe and Miss Teen USA pageants since 2003, is backing away from controversial comments he made about Mexican immigrants. (Jeff Bottari/AP File)

NBCUniversal appears to be backing away from comments made by longtime business partner Donald Trump.

The American media company issued a cautious statement drawing distance from the Republican presidential candidate after he accused Latino immigrants of bringing drugs, crime and rapists to the U.S.

The comments were delivered in a campaign kick-off speech in which Trump also called for the building of a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

"Donald Trump's opinions do not represent those of NBC," the network said in a statement Thursday and published in The Hollywood Reporter. "[A]nd we do not agree with his positions on a number of issues, including his recent comments on immigration."

NBC's message came hours after Spanish-language media network Univision said it was cutting all business ties with the real estate tycoon over his comments—including refusing to air Trump's Miss USA pageant.

Trump accused Univision of defaulting on a five-year contract, and called for a boycott of the network on Twitter.

Despite Univision's decision, it's unlikely that NBC would go so far as to stop broadcasting the pageant, scheduled to air live from Baton Rouge, La., on July 12.

Trump and NBCUniversal have shared ownership of the Miss USA, Miss Universe and Miss Teen USA pageants since 2003. The two sides are currently operating on a reported five-year, $13.5 million US contract.

After Trump announced plans to run for U.S. president in 2016, the network indicated that it would re-evaluate his role as host of the reality series Celebrity Apprentice, which Trump also produces.

With files from The Associated Press

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