Latin performer J Balvin has canceled his performance at the Miss USA pageant in protest of Donald Trump’s comments about Mexicans during last week’s presidential announcement speech.
The singer from Medellín, Colombia, has pulled out of the show, which airs live on July 12 on NBC, despite it being one of the biggest bookings of his career.
“It was going to be my first performance on national [mainstream] television,” Balvin told Billboard on Wednesday.
“We’re talking about our roots, our culture, our values,” he said. “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.”
Trump, who owns the Miss Universe Organization in a joint venture with NBCUniversal, has come under heavy fire for the controversial — and many think racist — comments during his June 16 speech, when he called immigrants criminals and rapists.
“When do we beat Mexico at the border?” asked Trump. “They’re laughing at us, at our stupidity. And now they are beating us economically. They are not our friend, believe me. But they’re killing us economically.
“The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else’s problems,” he continued. “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. 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 from the Middle East,” he continued.
Upon hearing the speech, and learning of Trump’s connection to the beauty contest, Balvin severed ties with the event. “I think music is to have fun. It’s for people to have a good time with. I’m no savior and I’m no Robin Hood,” he said. “But in this case, I feel totally comfortable and responsible with my decision.”