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Fired Univision Host Rodner Figueroa Is Happy Friend Carlos Calderón Replaced Him on 'Sal y Pimienta'

First Posted: Apr 24, 2015 12:48 PM EDT
Taking over Figueroa's Univision role challenging, Calderón admits

Photo : Alexander Tamargo/Getty Images

When Univision offered Carlos Calderón the opportunity to take Rodner Figueroa's spot on its public-affairs program, "Sal y pimienta," the Mexican presenter did not doubt for a second before accepting, La Opinión reported. But it was still a difficult situation because the hosts are personal friends.

Immediately after receiving the offer, Calderón called Figueroa to talk things over.

"I spoke with Rodner, and I told him, 'Listen, they are proposing this (opportunity),'" he said. "And he told me, 'How good that they're offering it to you!' We gave each other a virtual hug, and that was the end of the cycle. I, too, have had shows that have come to the end of their cycles, and you have to understand the business, embrace it and love it."

Figueroa was fired from Univision in March after comparing first lady Michelle Obama to an ape on live television, Deadline Hollywood recalled.

"Well, watch out, you know that Michelle Obama looks like she's from the cast of 'Planet Of The Apes,' the movie," Figueroa quipped on the air.

The host later penned a letter to the first lady apologizing for his remarks, according to Latin We.

"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 (makeup) artist, which left much to be desired," Figueroa said.

Replacing the Venezuelan fashion guru, meanwhile, has not been easy for Calderón, the trained architect admitted.

"(Rodner) and I really like each other very much, and it has been a difficult situation," Calderón said.

"But when this door opened up, my mom talked to me and told me, 'The Dead Sea has opened up for you; cross it.' And I took my army and went ahead. Now, they have also given me the opportunity to apply myself as a creative talent and put all those years of experience to use."

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