The list just keeps getting longer! We can add Flo Rida and Emmitt Smith to the long list of stars that have backed out of participating in the 64th Annual Miss USA Pageant. The rapper and former NFL player bowed out on Wednesday, citing Miss Universe organization owner, Donald Trump’s comments about Mexican immigrants as their reasoning.
Flo Rida was scheduled to perform at the July 12 Miss USA pageant. Prior to the rappers announcement, his co-headliners for the event, “Somebody” singer Natalie La Rose, “The Voice” winner Craig Wayne Boyd, and reggaeton artist J. Balvin, announced they would no longer be performing either.
Former Dallas Cowboys running back, Emmitt Smith, took to social media to announce his bow out.
“In light of Mr. Trump’s statements and the subsequent decisions made by NBC, I have decided not to participate as a judge in the 2015 Miss USA pageant,” Smith writes. “Knowing firsthand through my wife, Pat Smith, how much the women prepare for this event, I continue to send my support and best wishes to everyone competing this year.”
The former NFL player was set to judge alongside HGTV “Property Borthers” personality Jonathan Scott, country singer Jessie James Decker, “E! News” anchor Terrence Jenkins, and former Miss Universe winner Zuleyka Rivera. As of now, only Mrs. Decker’s name remains listed as a judge on the Miss USA website.
Following Trump’s comments, Univision and Macy’s announced their decisions to end business ties with Trump, and the hosts set for the show—Cheryl Burke and Thomas Roberts–announced they would no longer be a part of the program. These announcements followed NBC’s decision, on June 29th, to cut its ties with the presidential candidate.
Miss USA/Miss Universe pageant president, Paula Shugart told EW that the Miss USA pageant will continue as scheduled for July 12, and that it has been set up for the show to stream live online. The organization has also been talking with prospective broadcasters.
Shugart compares the struggles that the Miss USA pageant is facing to those of the Golden Globes, when the writer’s strike took place in 2008, “Obviously they couldn’t do their typical Golden Globes show, but that event went on and it was different the year of the strike. That’s kind of the approach I’m taking to this.”