Looks like Miss USA pageant 2017 is now a safe haven for immigrant contestants with Donald Trump out of the company.
The subject of immigrants in the US has been very hot for the past few months ever since Donald Trump became the President of the United States. POTUS Donald Trump has been very vocal about his opinions of immigrants in America, and his views were never taken lightly by various communities and companies—including the very company that once co-owned the Miss USA pageant with him.
The Miss Universe, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA pageants have been owned by Donald Trump from 1996 to 2015, and it was annually aired on NBCUniversal. In June 2015, however, controversy broke out when NBC withdrew its support of the annual Miss USA and Miss Universe Pageants, following Donald Trump’s hateful statement against immigrants. NBC said back in 2015:
At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values.
Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump.
To that end, the annual Miss USA and Miss Universe Pageants, which are part of a joint venture between NBC and Trump, will no longer air on NBC.
We’ll recall that in 2015, Donald Trump condemned Mexicans crossing the borders and called for a creation of a “great wall” to keep the “illegals” out of US soil, CNNreported.
When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best…. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people
I would build a great wall — and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me—and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border.
And I don’t mind having a big, beautiful door in that wall so that people can come into this country legally. But we need, Jeb, to build a wall. We need to keep illegals out.
However, instead of apologizing for his sentiments, Donald Trump lashed out against NBC, Bustlereports, and came out with a lawsuit against the company.
If NBC is so weak and so foolish to not understand the serious illegal immigration problem in the United States, coupled with the horrendous and unfair trade deals we are making with Mexico, then their contract violating closure of Miss Universe/Miss USA will be determined in court.
Shortly after NBC cut its ties with Donald Trump, however, talent agency WME/IMG purchased all rights to the Miss Universe, Miss USA, and Miss Teen USA pageants from Trump. This brought the Miss USA pageant to Fox, after the pageant suffered a huge loss in viewership in that year it did not air on NBC, Daily News reported.
Now that the Miss USA pageants have divorced itself from Trump and his controversial statements about immigrants, the pageant is proud to announce that five immigrants have made it into the competition: Miss Florida Linette De Los Santos, Miss North Dakota Raquel Wellentin, Miss Hawaii Julie Kuo, Miss Connecticut Olga Litvinenko, and Miss New Jersey Chhavi Verg.
To address the heat immigrants are experiencing in this new Trump administration, the five immigrant contestants of this year’s Miss USA pageant tells Associated Press that being an immigrant should not deter anyone from achieving their dreams.
Miss USA contestant Raquel Wellentin, who has immigrated to the US from the Philippines, recalls her first memories of being an immigrant in a new country.
“Nobody wanted to talk to me at all. I came home one day and I asked my dad ‘Why am I so different? Why isn’t anyone talking to me?. My dad told me, ‘You know, you are not different. You are very unique yourself. You have to be strong and really accept this negativity from other people and have it motivate you.’ I still keep that in my mind.”
Miss Florida Linette De Los Santos, who has immigrated from the Dominican Republic when she was just 5-years-old, also said the following.
“As Miss USA, I would love to be able to be that inspiration for our immigrant community. If I would have stopped following my dreams and working hard towards what I wanted, I wouldn’t be sitting here as Miss Florida USA or in law school ready to become an immigration attorney.”
Miss Connecticut Olga Litvinenko shares the same story, and wants to inspire more women to overcome their fear of being different.
“I want to showcase that no matter who you are, no matter what your background is, your size or what you have done in the past, through hard work and discipline, through perseverance and determination, you really can achieve what you put your heart towards.”
Fifty-one beauty queens, including the five immigrant candidates, will be battling it out at the Miss USA pageant happening in Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. If you’re watching at home, you can cheer for your favorite Miss USA pageant contestant over at Fox today, May 14, at 8 p.m. ET.
[Featured Image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]