Univision Communications Inc. canceled its telecast of the Miss USA pageant next month, after Donald Trump derided Mexican immigrants during his speech announcing his presidential campaign.
Declaring his candidacy for the Republican nomination last week, Mr. Trump said Mexicans bring drugs and crime to the U.S.
"They're rapists," he said.
Univision, the largest U.S. Spanish-language broadcaster, said Thursday that it is ending its relationship with the Miss Universe organization, a joint venture between Trump and Comcast Corp.'s NBCUniversal.
"At Univision, we see first-hand the work ethic, love for family, strong religious values and the important role Mexican immigrants and Mexican-Americans have had and will continue to have in building the future of our country," the New York-based company said in a statement on its website.
The broadcaster has been gaining viewers in the U.S., drawing higher ratings than direct competitors such as NBC's Telemundo and Ricardo Salinas's Azteca America. During the Super Bowl broadcast in February, a Univision reality program was the most-watched show after the championship game itself. It was the third time in five years that a Spanish program placed second during the game. The Miss USA pageant is scheduled to air July 12, with NBC broadcasting in English in the U.S.
Mr. Trump said that the Mexican government put pressure on Univision to break its contract with the Miss Universe organization. He said he has been exposing "the significant damage that is being done at the southern border."
"I have great respect for Mexico and love the Mexican people, but my loyalty is to the United States," he said in a statement.
Hillary Clinton, the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, said in an interview with KNPB last week that a recent entrant into the presidential race said some "very inflammatory things about Mexicans." She didn't mention Trump by name.
"That's not acceptable. You don't talk like that on talk radio. You don't talk like that...on political campaigns," Clinton said.
Colombian reggaeton star J Balvin said Wednesday that he would cancel his scheduled performance at the pageant.
"This isn't about being punitive but about showing leadership through social responsibility," Mr. Balvin said in an interview with Billboard. "His comments weren't just about Mexicans, but about all Latins in general."