Arnold Schwarzenegger is saying “hasta la vista” to “Celebrity Apprentice” -- and he says President Trump is to blame.
The actor and “Celebrity Apprentice” host told Empire Magazine he’s through with the show; he alleges that Mr. Trump’s attachment to the franchise has brought it a bad rap.
“Under the circumstances I don’t want to do it again,” he said. “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!’”
“I loved every second of working with NBC and Mark Burnett,” Schwarzenegger said in a statement through his agent. “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, who once served as the governor of California, instead placed the blame squarely on Mr. Trump’s shoulders.
“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,” he said.
Schwarzenegger, who has publicly feuded with Mr. Trump since this season’s debut, pointed at social media slams and boycotts of Mr. Trump for the show’s drop in ratings. The latest season of the reality competition debuted to 4.95 million total viewers and a 1.3 rating among adults aged 18-49, which amounted to a drop of 44 percent in that key demographic from the series’ debut last year.
“Even if asked [to do it again] I would decline,” said Schwarzenegger. “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.”