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Miss USA distances itself from Trump's statements

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BATON ROUGE - As the women who will participate in the upcoming Miss USA pageant here settle in for their first or second night in the city, the pageant released a statement concerning the recent turn of events that have it off the air.

"We are disheartened by recent events but the show will go on," the group said in a news release late Monday night. Earlier in the day, NBC announced it was canceling its coverage of the event due to recent statements made by pageant owner and presidential contender Donald Trump.

Many thought his thoughts on illegal immigration were politically incorrect and the network said it was not going to carry the pageant at all.

"The Miss Universe Organization is built on a foundation of inclusion and continues to be a celebration of diversity and of all cultures. This year's Miss USA contestants represent many different ethnic backgrounds, including six Latinas (four of whom are of Mexican descent)," the pageant continued in its page-long statement.

"Our franchisees work tirelessly every day to empower young women to be confident and to be their personal best while raising awareness and millions of dollars for philanthropic endeavors."

"While world politics and other influences will undoubtedly play a role, the pageant will always seek to transcend controversy."

" We want our supporters to know we remain committed to them and we will be conducting the pageant, regardless of the current situation. We are moving forward, full-steam ahead as planned."
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