'AGT' winning ventriloquist Terry Fator removes Trump puppet from Las Vegas show
"America's Got Talent" winning ventriloquist Terry Fator is removing his President Donald Trump puppet to scrub politics from his Las Vegas show. USA TODAY
Ventriloquist and “America’s Got Talent” winner Terry Fator has sidelined his President Donald Trump puppet to scrub politics out of his stage show.
The puppet – complete with a pop-up hairpiece – had been a part of Fator’s comedy routine at The Mirage on the Las Vegas Strip since 2016.
Fator pulled Trump, he said in a tweet Sunday, to remove “any overtones of politics.”
"I strive to create a show that helps the audience escape everyday life and lose themselves in the entertainment I provide," he added.
Fator has been headlining his own show at the Mirage since winning “America’s Got Talent” in 2007. His cast of puppet characters include Willie Nelson, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Stevie Wonder and Justin Bieber.
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The ventriloquist’s statement contradicted statements he made to the Las Vegas Review-Journal last week, when he said the resort asked him to remove the Trump puppet.
“It was kind of one of those things where the Mirage came to me, and they have never told me what to do, ever. But they asked politely, and when they ask politely, I do it,” Fator told the newspaper after a Friday show. “We have a good relationship. It’s a give and take. I’m not a diva. I’m not going to go off and say, ‘Screw you’ when they ask me to do something. But they said, ‘This political season is very, very, very rough and it’s going to get nastier. Would you mind?’ I said, ‘Fine, I’ll do it.’”
In his statement Sunday, Fator clarified the decision what his alone.
“The Mirage never asked me to remove the Trump puppet from my show, however I did so a few months ago in my ever-evolving changes to my show,” Fator wrote. “Based on various feedback I received, I decided removing any overtones of politics from the show including the Trump character for the next year made the most sense.”
In a statement to the USA TODAY Network, MGM Resorts International addressed what Fator cast as a mix-up:
“We’re glad Terry cleared things up and confirmed that no one from The Mirage asked him to remove the Trump puppet from his show,” MGM Resorts International spokesman Brian Ahern said in an email. "We look forward to the Christmas show and the new material Terry is working on."
Contributing: The Associated Press.