NEW YORK — A gay MSNBC anchor who was to have co-hosted the Miss USA pageant on June 30 announced he has pulled out of the event.
A spokesperson for NBC on Tuesday confirmed to Variety that Thomas Roberts will not host the pageant that is scheduled to take place in Baton Rouge, La., on July 12.
Roberts’ decision to withdraw from the pageant came a day after NBC Universal, which is MSNBC’s parent company, announced that it had cut ties with Donald Trump, who owns the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, over the controversial comments he made about Mexican immigrants during his presidential campaign announcement.
Both Univision and Televisa announced they would not broadcast the Miss Universe pageant as a result of Trump’s comments. Cheryl Burke, a dancer and choreographer with “Dancing with the Stars” who was to have co-hosted the Miss USA pageant with Roberts, also announced she would no longer participate in the event.
“I cannot in good conscience move forward with participating in this year’s Miss USA Pageant as its co-host,” said Burke in a statement she posted to her Facebook page.
Roberts’ decision to co-host the 2013 Miss Universe pageant in Moscow amid concerns over Russia’s LGBT rights record sparked controversy.