Arnold Schwarzenegger Not Returning To “Celebrity Apprentice”
Arnold Schwarzenegger is firing himself. The former governor says he will not return as the host of “Celebrity Apprentice.”
“I loved every second of working with NBC and Mark Burnett. Everyone — from the celebrities to the crew to the marketing department — was a straight 10, and I would absolutely work with all of them again on a show that doesn’t have this baggage,” Schwarzenegger says in a statement furnished to Gossip Cop.
That baggage he refers to, of course, is replacing Donald Trump, who criticized both the show and his successor as it aired earlier this year. Schwarzenegger discusses the issue at length in a new interview with Empire. “I learned a lot. I had a great time. It was a really great opportunity. But under the circumstances I don’t want to do it again,” he says.
Amid mediocre ratings, a number of advertising sponsors cut ties with the NBC program. Schwarzenegger now tells Empire, “It’s not about the show, because everyone I ran into came up to me and said, ‘I love the show… but I turned it off because as soon as I read Trump’s name, I’m outta there!’ NBC did everything they could to promote the show and [producer] Mark Burnett did a fantastic job. No one really knew that this was going to happen, and I think that everyone was caught off guard.”
“When people found out that Trump was still involved as executive producer and was still receiving money from the show, then half the people [started] boycotting it,” the actor, bodybuilder and politician is quoted as saying. He adds, “Even if asked [to do it again] I would decline. With Trump being involved in the show, people have a bad taste and don’t want to participate as a spectator or as a sponsor or in any other way support the show. It’s a very divisive period now and I think this show got caught up in all that division.”
Schwarzenegger’s season of “Celebrity Apprentice” taped before Trump won the presidential election, but didn’t air until just a few weeks before his January inauguration. After the premiere and subsequent episodes, Schwarzenegger and Trump feuded over the program, raising questions as to whether either would be involved in future seasons. Gossip Cop already busted one report that ridiculously claimed Caitlyn Jenner would replace Schwarzenegger as host. NBC has not yet commented on Schwarzenegger’s decision, nor has Trump.