In this Nov. 10, 2011, file photo, Rodner Figueroa arrives at the 12th Annual Latin Grammy Awards in Las Vegas.
Photo by Chris Pizzello/AP

Rodner Figueroa to Michelle Obama: Sorry for ‘Planet of the Apes’ joke

Rodner Figueroa, the Univision host who was fired this week for suggesting Michelle Obama looking like she was in “the cast of ‘Planet of the Apes,’” has penned an open letter apologizing to the first lady.

Figueroa started a firestorm after making the racially charged remark during a segment about makeup transformations on “El Gordo Y la Flaca.”

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“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,” Figueroa writes to the first lady during in his letter, which originally appeared in Spanish

He goes on to point out that he twice voted for President Barack Obama, hails from a biracial family and abhors prejudice. Figueroa was one of the first openly gay personalities to be featured prominently on Univision. And prior to his dismissal he had been an Emmy award winner for his work in television.

Despite his lengthy apology to Michelle Obama, there appears to be no love lost between Figueroa and his now former network.

“I feel embarrassed, I ask for forgiveness, because there is no excuse for a professional like me to make those types of comments that can be interpreted as offensive and racist in a volatile moment that we live in our country. I take full responsibility for the lack of judgement in my part, but I can’t accept that I am being called a racist, being fired for that reason and being humiliated by Univision after working there for 17 years,” he writes.

“I was notified verbally that as a result of a complaint from your office I was fired, and as a result of a leak of information from the executives at Univision, I was condemned on social networks trying to destroy my career in an unjust manner, without even having notified me officially in writing and without an investigation that could have clarified this situation,” he added.

Univision called Figeuroa’s remarks “completely reprehensible” before terminating his contract on Thursday.

Michelle Obama and Racism

Rodner Figueroa to Michelle Obama: Sorry for 'Planet of the Apes' joke