Univision fires anchor after Michelle Obama ‘Planet of the Apes’ insult

Posted at 12:09 PM, Mar 13, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-13 12:09:10-04

NEW YORK — Univision has sacked a talk show host who likened First Lady Michelle Obama to characters in the movie “Planet of the Apes.”

The Spanish-language network announced that Rodner Figueroa, an Emmy Award-winning host and presenter, had been fired for the remarks he made on Wednesday.

“Yesterday during our entertainment program ‘El Gordo y La Flaca’ Rodner Figueroa made comments regarding First Lady Michelle Obama that were completely reprehensible and in no way reflect Univision’s values or views,” Univision said in a statement. “As a result, Mr. Figueroa was immediately terminated.”

In a broadcast on Wednesday, Figueroa said, “Michelle Obama looks like she’s part of the cast of ‘Planet of the Apes.'” Figueroa made the comments as a photo of the first lady was shown on screen.

Figueroa’s normally active Twitter account has been dormant since Wednesday.

Univision reaches 94 million households in the United States. It is the largest Spanish language broadcaster in the U.S., and the fifth largest television network.

Last year, a Belgian newspaper took heat for depicting Barack and Michelle Obama as apes.