Cheryl Burke has now officially been replaced in hosting the Miss USA pageant after stepping down due to incendiary statements made by Donald Trump.
Burke, a Dancing With The Stars champion, was set to host the pageant with MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts but released a statement after Trump’s comments made headlines, saying she would not be able to proceed.
“In light of the recent statements made by Donald Trump and the subsequent decision by NBC to cut ties with Mr. Trump, I cannot in good conscience move forward with participating in this year’s Miss USA Pageant,” Burke wrote on Facebook.
Replacing Burke and Roberts will be former Miss Wisconsin Alex Wehrley and television host Todd Newton, according to Reelz TV, which will be airing the pageant after NBC dropped it in the wake of Trump’s announcement that he’s running for president.
Trump, who is co-owner of the pageant, made several comments during his announcement about immigrants from Mexico that immediately garnered backlash, saying that they bring drugs and a criminal element to the United States when they are allowed to cross the border.
“They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people,” Trump said.
Cheryl Burke and Thomas Roberts aren’t the only people once affiliated with the event who are refusing to participate; Jennie Mai, who was set to cover the backstage area during the show, also released a statement saying she didn’t want to be part of it, and rapper Flo Rida and Emmit Smith–who was going to be a judge–have also backed down.
— CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk) June 30, 2015