Keeping one foot in reality (TV). Donald Trump will remain an executive producer on NBC’s hit reality series Celebrity Apprentice during his presidency.
According to Variety, the president-elect will retain his executive producer credit on the show — which will now be hosted by Arnold Schwarzenegger — when the show returns on January 2 after a two-year hiatus.
The site reports that the 70-year-old real estate mogul’s name will appear after Apprentice creator Mark Burnett’s and before Schwarzenegger’s. (The former movie star and governor of California is also an executive producer for the series.)
The main issue with Trump’s name remaining in the credits even as he takes the White House is that it means he will also continue to make a profit off his association with the hit series, with which he’s been involved since 2004. Variety reports that though it is “clear what his per-episode fee is,” it is “likely to be in the low five figures, at minimum.”
NBC declined to comment on the news.
In July 2015, NBC famously cut ties with Trump after he made disparaging comments about Mexicans being illegal immigrants who are also criminals and rapists. “At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values,” the network said 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.” (Trump’s role as executive producer is independent of his relationship with NBC, since he will be paid through MGM, a production company, and not NBC.)
Earlier this year, Trump’s behavior on the set of The Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice made headlines after numerous former contestants stepped forward to accuse the businessman of everything from inappropriate comments to sexual assault.
The Apprentice season 4 winner Randal Pinkett told Us that Trump would frequently comment on women’s looks behind the scenes and would openly talk about which female contestants he wanted to sleep with.
The Associated Press interviewed more than 20 former crew members, editors and contestants for the NBC reality show and found many who described Trump’s behavior as inappropriate.
Season 5 Apprentice alum Summer Zervos came forward in a press conference to allege that Trump had once thrust his genitals at her during a business meeting. Trump flatly denied her claims and those of other accusers.
On Wednesday, December 7, The New York Times announced that Trump is considering keeping a stake in his real estate business even though he is formally handing over operational duties to his two adult sons.
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