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‘Apprentice’ Producer Takes Blame for Giving Us Donald Trump: We ‘Created This Candidate’

Donald Trump
Donald TrumpDouglas Gorenstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Sorry? An Apprentice producer is apologizing for giving us Donald Trump. Bill Pruitt, a producer on seasons 1 and 2 of The Apprentice, told Slate that he feels it’s his “patriotic duty” to warn America about the presumptive GOP presidential nominee. 

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“He was always a narcissist, you can see that,” Pruitt told Slate. “But on the TV show, what you didn’t see, what we saw, was the evolution of a storyteller. You could see how keenly aware Trump became of the story he was telling as it was shaped by the producers around him — of Omarosa’s decline, or Bill Rancic’s rise to glory. Reality TV is the public pillory now, the grand coliseum where we give the big thumbs-up or thumbs-down. And it shaped him.”

Pruitt goes on to tell Slate that he’s been “struggling with the whole experience of watching Trump go from punch line to GOP nominee because of how it reflects on reality TV,” which is what he’s devoted the last 10 years of his life to.

“The associations are glaring,” Pruitt said. “Those in our business who hadn’t already taken stock of what we wrought, we’re doing it now. I might have signed an NDA back in the day that would allow someone to come after me, but I feel almost a patriotic duty to talk about this. Those of us involved in the show are proud of our work. But we might have given the guy a platform and created this candidate. It’s guys like him, narcissists with dark Machiavellian traits, who dominate in our culture, on TV and in the political realm. It can be dangerous when we confuse stories we’re told with reality. We need to wake up — and that’s from someone who helped tell these stories.”

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The business mogul, 70, was fired from the NBC show in June 2015 following his controversial remarks about Mexican immigrants during his speech announcing his candidacy for president of the United States.

"At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values," a network rep told Us in a statement at the time. "Due to the recent derogatory statements by Donald Trump regarding immigrants, NBCUniversal is ending its business relationship with Mr. Trump."

In September, NBC announced that Arnold Schwarzenegger will be replacing Trump in the upcoming season of The Apprentice.

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