Ex-California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who replaced Donald Trump on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice, is leaving the show. And in a statement he suggests Donald Trump is the reason.
IN a Saturday morning Tweet, Trump dismissed that view. The president wrote, "Arnold Schwarzenegger isn't voluntarily leaving the Apprentice, he was fired by his bad (pathetic) ratings, not by me. Sad end to great show."
Earlier Schwarzenegger said ina statement, “I loved every second of working with NBC and producer 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.”
NBC declined to comment. The network has not said if it will order more seasons of the reality competition on which Trump starred until deciding to make his run for the White House.
During an interview published today with Arnold, Empire turned the talk to the Apprentice which has been losing viewers this season.
“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,” the former bodybuilder said.
“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.”
Even if asked to return he would decline, Schwarzenegger said. “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.”
Trump has missed few opportunities to criticize Schwarzenegger’s performance on the show, on which Trump continues to be paid as a producer.
In January, Trump, busy forming his cabinet, took time to savage Schwarzenegger’s performance as executioner-in-chief:
“Wow the ratings are in and Arnold Schwarzenegger got ‘swamped’ (or destroyed) by comparison to the ratings machine, DJT, ” said the then president-elect.
The New Celebrity Apprentice host responded via Twitter:
“There’s nothing more important than the people’s work” said Arnold, “I wish you the best of luck and I hope you’ll work for ALL of the American people as aggressively as you worked for your ratings.," he said.