A Minnesota company has answered the call to save the Miss USA pageant, which was dropped by NBC this week following controversial comments by pageant owner (and presidential candidate) Donald Trump.
Reelz, an entertainment TV network owned by St. Paul-based Hubbard Broadcasting (whose portfolio includes news station KSTP), snatched the rights to Miss USA and will air the event, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The publication says Stan E. Hubbard, CEO of Reelz, felt it was the network's duty to bring the pageant to "American viewers everywhere."
“The decision on the part of Reelz to acquire the rights to the Miss USA Pageant was based on our belief that this special event, and the women who compete in it, are an integral part of American tradition,” he said.
NBC Universal backed out of its telecast of the competition in light of Donald Trump's remarks about Mexican immigrants in his presidential bid announcement, which the conglomerate described as "derogatory."
The move ended NBC's relationship with the business mogul, who will also no longer appear on the reality competition show "The Apprentice."
Save the Sash
Hubbard Broadcasting's decision to save Miss USA from TV oblivion is good news for a number of pageant fans campaigning to save the program – supporters even launched a "Save the Sash" petition effort that sought to change NBC's mind.
And none other than Britt Thelemann, former Miss Minnesota, weighed in with her thoughts on Twitter:
According to the Star Tribune, Miss USA will air on its originally scheduled date of Friday, July 12.
However, the paper points out that pageant organizers will have to "scramble" as a number of performers, hosts and judges have pulled out of the program due to Trump's comments.