Colombian star J. Balvin has pulled out of performing at the Miss USA contest over remarks pageant boss Donald Trump made about Mexicans during the launch of his presidential campaign earlier this month (Jun15).
Balvin announced he would not be part of the 12 July (15) show on Wednesday (24Jun15) - even though it was set to be his first performance on mainstream television.
The singer tells Billboard, "We’re talking about our roots, our culture, our values. This isn’t about being punitive, but about showing leadership through social responsibility. His comments weren’t just about Mexicans, but about all Latins in general."
Announcing his presidential bid on 16 June (15), Trump said, "The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems. When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best... They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.
"It’s coming from more than Mexico. It’s coming from all over South and Latin America, and it’s coming probably - probably - from the Middle East."
Balvin admits it took him a week to decide to cancel his Miss USA appearance because he didn't initially associate Trump with the Miss USA pageant.
He adds, "Mexico is a Latin powerhouse, and Mexicans, they're known as hard workers. Here in the U.S., not everybody wants to do those kinds of jobs. I’ve lived. I know what it feels like and what they go through and how families suffer. A comment like that (from Trump) is powerful... I’m no saviour and I’m no Robin Hood, but in this case, I feel totally comfortable and responsible with my decision."
Balvin's big TV moment will now be pushed back to 25 July (15), when he will join Stevie Wonder and Nicole Scherzinger, among others, and headline the opening ceremony of the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles.