Updated 07:14 AM EDT, Fri, Oct 23, 2020

Rodner Figueroa Michelle Obama ‘Planet of the Apes’ Scandal Update: Ex-Univision Host Replaced!

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Univision has filled the spot Rodner Figueroa left in the network three weeks after he got the boot. In a statement issued by Univision on Wednesday, it was revealed that Carlos Calderón and Jomari Goyso are the two new hosts of "Sal y Pimienta" alongside Lourdes Stephen, Fox News Latino reports from The Associated Press.

According to the news outlet, Calderón and Goyso will start working this week on the Sunday night entertainment show.

"Both Carlos Calderón and Jomari Goyso are beloved among our audience," said Alberto Ciurana, Univsion's president of programming and content, as quoted by Fox News Latino. Calderón is one of the hosts of "El Gordo y la Flaca" while Goyso serves as one of the judges of Univision's beauty-pageant reality show "Nuestra Belleza Latina."

Figueroa was fired from Univision after a comment he made about Filipino make-up artist and entertainer Paolo Ballesteros, who is currently making headlines on Instagram for transforming himself into famous personalities, which included the First Lady Michelle Obama. During the live show, Figueroa commented that Obama's representation "looks like she was from the cast of 'Planet of the Apes,'" Fox News Latino noted.

Since then, Figueroa issued a public apology directed to the First Lady, saying that he takes full responsibility for the error in his judgment.

"I would like to clarify that I am not a racist and my comments were in no way directed toward you, but toward the characterization made by the makeup artist," the 42-year-old host said in Spanish, as reported and translated by a separate report from Fox News Latino.

"I am embarrassed, I ask for forgiveness, because there is no excuse for a professional like me to make comments like this that can be misinterpreted as offensive and racist during such a volatile time in our country."

However, he thinks that his termination from the TV network is unfair and unacceptable. A report from Latin Times, meanwhile, stated that the real reason why the talk show host was axed from Univision was because he was rallying up supporters to unionize the Latino talent at the studio.

Figueroa reportedly wants his job back at the network and a public apology, the news outlet noted. His contract with Colgate as the brand's spokesperson also came to an end due to the controversy.

Figueroa Joining Univision Rival Telemundo?

Just recently, rumors have surfaced about Telemundo's attempts to hire Figueroa as one of their hosts, Latin Times wrote. The network, which competes against Univision, is allegedly in talks to place Figueroa "on 'Suelta La Sopa' that runs weekdays opposite 'El Gordo y La Flaca,'" where the Emmy Award winning host was previously a part of.

The TV presenter's former program, "Sal y Pimienta," also competes against Telemundo on Sunday nights, Latin Times wrote. If these rumors are true, Figueroa "would be competing with the shows that made him a household name."

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