Miss Universe Dayana Mendoza attends The Weinstein Company & Bing...

Miss Universe Dayana Mendoza attends The Weinstein Company & Bing screening Of "Bully" at Crosby Street Hotel in New York City. (March 11, 2012) Credit: Getty Images

Miss Universe 2008 Dayana Mendoza has responded to racial slurs and demeaning comments her "Celebrity Apprentice" castmate Lisa Lampanelli made on a radio show last week.

Following Lampanelli's comments on Sirius XM in which the comic, who is known for insulting people, used a racial epithet for Hispanics, Mendoza told The Huffington Post: "I understand that it's Lisa's job to make fun of people for a living. If poking fun at me can help her sell tickets to her shows, no problem, I am happy to help her put food on her table. However, when she uses racial slurs, she is not only targeting myself but degrading an entire Hispanic culture." Mendoza was born and raised in Venezuela.

Lampanelli regularly uses ethnic and racial insults as part of her stage persona, for which she has earned the nickname the Queen of Mean. Her slurs toward Mendoza's ethnicity came in spontaneous conversation with a call-in listener and not as part of a formal comedy act.

Lampanelli also questioned Mendoza's intelligence, referring to the model and beauty queen's much-publicized 2009 blog post in which, during a USO visit to troops stationed at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, Mendoza praised the prison outpost as "such a relaxing place, so calm and beautiful." Lampanelli needled, "Is she smart? No."

The comic also criticized Mendoza's efforts on the reality show, saying, "Dayana has never had a usable idea on 'The Apprentice' so far. If she does in future weeks, that would be great. We'd love to hear them."

Lampanelli's spokeswoman did not respond to Newsday's request for comment.

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