TV Host Says Michelle Obama Looks Like She's From 'Planet of the Apes'

Michelle ObamaWhat was he thinking? And could it have possibly been any worse than what he was saying? Rodner Figueroa, who was a host on a Univision entertainment show called El Gordo Y La Flaca, is famous for making Fashion Police-y type comments on celebrity fashion, but Figueroa took it a giant step too far when he said that Michelle Obama looked like "she's part of the cast of Planet of the Apes."


The comment came during a segment when the hosts were dishing on makeup transformations made by makeup artist Paolo Ballesteros. As a picture of Michelle and Paolo as Michelle flashed on the screen, Figueroa cracked, "Mind you, you know that Michelle Obama looks like she's part of the cast of Planet of the Apes, the film."

Maybe it's funny in Spanish? Erm, yeah, probably not.

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Univision almost immediately canned Figueroa (after the White House complained) and he released a statement saying:

I want to clarify that I'm not racist and in no way was my comment directed at you, but rather the work of the [make up] artist, which left much to be desired.

This comes on the heels of the flap over a comment about the singer Zendaya, sort of the English version of Ballesteros' show.

I'm normally not in favor of anyone getting fired over snarky remarks made while trying to get a laugh. I'm all too familiar with the pressure to entertain (yes, blogging can be entertaining!) and how that can inadvertently lead you down a wrong path on occasion.

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But even if Ballesteros, who is biracial and says he has worked diligently for years for equal rights causes, isn't racist, the comment was still bizarre enough that Univision had no choice but to fire him. Sorry, but you can't and shouldn't call an African-American an ape no matter what the "context." Ballesteros is old enough to know better.

Do you think he should have been fired?

Image via Michelle Obama/Instagram

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