Cheryl Burke Will Not Host Miss USA: I Cannot Move Forward with Participating in this Year's Pageant
Several Miss USA contestants speak to INSIDE EDITION about the news that NBC will not air the pageant just two weeks before the show's premiere.
Yet another blow to the embattled Miss USA pageant as Dancing with the Stars' Cheryl Burke says she’s stepping down as co-host of Miss USA.
"In light of the recent statements made by Donald Trump and the subsequent decision by NBC to cut ties with Mr. Trump, I cannot in good conscience move forward with participating in this year's Miss USA pageant as its co-host," she said in a statement. "Although I will not be there in person, I wish all of the contestants much luck as I know how hard they've all been working over the last year to try and realize their dreams."
Cheryl was set to co-host with MSNBC’s Thomas Roberts, who's also stepped down.
But pageant officials insist the show will go on, saying in a statement: "We are moving forward, full-steam ahead as planned for the next two weeks, culminating in the crowning of a new Miss USA on July 12."
INSIDE EDITION's Megan Alexander spoke to Miss Washington, Miss Texas and Miss Nebraska. They're in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where preparations for the pageant are underway.
Alexander asked: "What was your reaction when you heard NBC was cutting the broadcast?"
Miss Nebraska said, "I know it was disheartening for all of us but Miss USA is more than just that night and the crowning on NBC. It is about the year of service and everything Miss USA will get to do, the impact she has on everyone she meets. So, it is more than just the broadcast."
NBC severed its relationship with the presidential hopeful because of those bombshell comments about Mexican immigrants calling them rapists.
A former Miss California, Tami Farrell, says she believes it's unfair for NBC to punish the 51 contestants by not airing the pageant.
She said: "For these girls, it is really not fair that one man's comments can take away their dreams. I hope that Donald Trump's ignorance hasn't tarnished the pageant."
Tami, who competed in 2009, is of Mexican descent.
Now, the hashtag #SaveTheSash is spreading on Twitter. INSIDE EDITION spoke to Maureen Francisco, who directs the pageant in four Pacific Northwest states. She said, “I was so disappointed for girls, they work so hard, but show will go on.”
Watch Below: Donald Trump's Miss USA Pageant Will Still Air, Just Not on NBC
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