Michelle Obama was denigrated by Univision fashion commentator Rodner Figueroa as he made a joke comparing her to a character in Planet of the Apes during a live broadcast of El Gordo y la Flaca. After Figueroa was fired, he penned an open letter of apology to the first lady trying to explain his comments and accusing Univision of treating him poorly.
There’s a great amount of freedom in this country and free speech is covered under the First Amendment. Yet, there are boundaries and protocols.
For example, yelling “Fire!” in a crowded movie theater, might get the shouter a stint in jail, especially if there’s no fire and hordes of people trample each other in a desperate attempt to get out. Free speech was exercised and justice was also.
Figueroa said what he wanted to say. In his letter, he explained that his comment was not directed toward Michelle Obama but to make-up artist Paolo Ballesteros who transforms himself into looking like female celebrities.
Figueroa, 42, pointed to a picture of the first lady and offered commentary.
“Mind you, you know that Michelle Obama looks like she’s part of the cast of Planet of the Apes, the film.”
Raul de Molina said Obama was attractive, and Lili Estefan asked Figueroa, “What are you saying?” He then defended his previous comment. “But it is true.”
Sounds straightforward. Now, Figueroa’s suffering the fallout and moaning about it. There are consequences to every action, and if he had given his words a bit of pre-thought, he might have kept the negativity to himself.
In a so-called apology letter, Figueroa offers another version of his remarks.
“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.”
He also complains about his former employer.
“I was notified verbally that due to a complaint from your office I was fired. An information leak from Univision executives, I was condemned in social media, trying to destroy my career in an unfair manner, without letting me know personally and without an investigation that would allow to clear up the situation.”
There’s more including Figueroa’s assessment that he couldn’t possibly be racist, because his father is Afro-Latino, Figueroa himself is a minority, because he’s gay and Latino. Further proof that the comment wasn’t racist is Figueroa’s revelation that he voted for Michelle Obama’s husband twice.
Enough already. As if there aren’t “minorities” who hate themselves and their ethnicity and prefer to feign whiteness
Lesson noted: The Emmy-award winning Figueroa’s letter is a classic example of how not to apologize. It doesn’t help to point the finger at everyone else and not take full responsibility for words and actions.
Did Figueroa think Univision would stand behind him and his comments?
The former co-host claims all was well, until Univision got a call from Michelle Obama’s office, but the network made a statement that there was no contact with the first lady’s office until after Figueroa’s termination.
Other fallout was Figueroa’s loss of a Colgate toothpaste endorsement. About now, he’s learned everything thought cannot be said — not without consequences — often dire ones.
Michelle Obama hasn’t commented and is probably unfazed by it all. Approaching her seventh year in the White House, she and President Barack Obama have heard it all.
[Image: Money CNN]