Rapper Lil Jon Responds to Claims Donald Trump Called Him ‘Uncle Tom’ During ‘The Apprentice’

Lil Jon responded to claims that Donald Trump once called him “Uncle Tom” during an episode of The Apprentice in a single message posted to Twitter on Friday, October 14.

“When this ‘Uncle Tom’ incident happened on Celebrity Apprentice in the boardroom several of my castmates and I addressed Mr. Trump immediately when we heard the comment,” the statement reads. “I can’t say if he knew what he was actually saying or not, but he did stop using that term once we explained its offensiveness.”

The 45-year-old rapper added that he was in no way defending the Republican presidential candidate, only stating what had happened. “I also want to be clear that I don’t agree with many of the statements Mr. Trump has said during his current run for President.”

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Earlier in the day, The Daily Beast published a piece that included corroboration of the incident by several Apprentice staffers.

According to the site, for one of the episodes, Lil Jon and the other contestants on the 13th season of The Apprentice in 2013 were tasked with creating competing displays around and inside glass trucks to promote hair-care products. In an effort to get a marketing advantage, Lil Jon bought an Uncle Sam costume to help his team advertise the product.

It was then, one staffer told The Daily Beast, that Trump, 70, seized upon the moment to call the rapper “Uncle Tom,” a racially charged term (from Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin) meant to demean a black man who scrapes and bows to serve white people. “Look, he’s Uncle Tom!” the source alleged the real estate mogul blurted out.

“We kept trying to [Trump] that that’s not a word you can use, that it’s offensive,” another staffer told the site. “One of the executive producers had to call him up directly to [plead with] him not to say it, and Trump was like, ‘No, that’s a saying, it’s Uncle Tom.’ There are several takes in the footage of the dailies that has him trying to figure out the difference between ‘Uncle Tom’ and Uncle Sam. He just couldn’t grasp that it was offensive … When [Trump] decides he wants to do something, that’s his way.”

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A third Apprentice staffer added that despite “multiple producers” telling the GOP presidential candidate to stop using the term, “somehow none of it stuck.”

Donald Trump and Lil Jon
Donald Trump and Lil Jon on May 16, 2013. Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

“It was not like he was saying the N-word, or anything,” the insider said. “But I couldn’t understand why he wouldn’t just realize he was being offensive with that particular term!”

These most recent claims come just one day after it was revealed that Trump once called Season 11 contestant Marlee Matlin “retarded.”

“Recent media reports have circulated that Donald Trump allegedly referred to me as ‘retarded,’” Matlin, who is deaf, said in a statement. “The term is abhorrent and should never be used. The fact that we are talking about this during a very important moment in American history has upset me deeply.”

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These are not the only scandals to arise from Trump’s time as host of The Apprentice. Season 4 winner Randal Pinkett spoke exclusively to Us Weekly and detailed how the businessman had made sexist remarks throughout filming.

“What I witnessed firsthand was Donald commenting on a woman’s attractiveness, how he thought she was beautiful and how he’d like to sleep with her,” Pinkett told Us. “He was expressing an interest or kind of saying, ‘Isn’t she beautiful? I’d love to sleep with her.’”

Trump currently faces numerous allegations of sexual assault, with accusers ranging from a reporter at People magazine to several former teen beauty queens. 

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