J Balvin cancels Miss USA appearance over Trump’s comments

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Colombian singer J Balvin canceled a planned performance at the Miss USA pageant following comments pageant owner Donald Trump made about Latinos.

A spokesman for Balvin said in a written statement Wednesday that the singer’s management told the Miss Universe organization to withdraw his name from an announcement about participants in the Miss USA broadcast.

“J Balvin was initially very grateful for the opportunity to share his music with a national U.S. network television audience when first invited to be a performer on the upcoming Miss USA broadcast,” the statement says. “However, he can no longer in good conscience agree to take part in an event that is overseen by, and creates a profit for Donald Trump, while Mr. Trump attacks the hard-working Latino immigrant community with hateful political rhetoric.”

Rapper Flo Rida and country singer Craig Wayne were announced Wednesday as performers at the July 12 ceremony in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

During his presidential campaign kickoff speech last week, Trump accused Latino immigrants of bringing drugs, crime and rapists to the U.S.

A spokeswoman for the Miss Universe organization did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts and “Dancing with the Stars” dancer Cheryl Burke will host this year’s pageant.

The current Miss USA crown holder, Nia Sanchez, identifies as part Mexican and part German in her biography on the pageant’s website.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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