Donald Trump’s troubled Miss USA pageant has found a new TV home on cable network Reelz.
Reelz, which is available in 70 million homes, is picking up the July 12 event after NBC and Univision dropped it in response to Trump’s inflammatory comments about Mexican immigrants. Trump made the remarks during his June 16 announcement of his run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.
Reelz, a low-profile outlet that usually airs theatrical movies and such reality shows as “The Hollywood Hillbillies,” is owned by the St. Paul, Minn.-based Hubbard Broadcasting.
“As one of a few independent networks, we decided to exercise our own voice and committed ourselves to bringing this pageant to American viewers,” the company’s chief executive, Stanley Hubbard, said Thursday in a statement.
It’s not the first time Reelz has opportunistically acquired a TV property that became available as a result of a controversy. In 2011, Reelz aired the miniseries “The Kennedys” after the History Channel, which developed the project, decided not to show it in the U.S. The filmmakers claimed History’s corporate owners, which include the Walt Disney Company, bowed to political pressure to back away from the film.
Trump has filed a lawsuit against Univision for $500 million, saying the company’s decision to scrap plans to air the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants is a politically motivated attempt to squelch free speech. Trump co-owns the pageants with NBC, which on Monday announced its intention to end their business relationship.
On Wednesday, Macy’s announced it was severing business ties with Trump over his comments. The company had carried a menswear line using Trump’s name. New York City is also reviewing its business relationships with the real estate mogul. The Trump Organization manages several properties for the city’s parks department.
Trump has not been hurt politically by his comments, which characterized Mexican immigrants as criminals, drug runners and rapists. He ranks second among the large number of Republican aspirants in a number of polls.