NBC has distanced itself from Donald Trump after the business mogul and presidential candidate made controversial remarks about people entering the U.S. from Mexico. NBC announced it would no longer air the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, which Trump partly owns, and that Trump will no longer be a part of The Celebrity Apprentice.
But Trump told Entertainment Tonight he thinks NBC will take him back.
“I’m going to say the answer is yes, because I get ratings.”
“The Apprentice would have died without me. Mark Cuban did The Benefactor, and it didn’t work, unfortunately. Richard [Branson], who is a friend of mine, did another show [The Rebel Billionaire: Branson’s Quest for the Best] that didn’t work… I don’t know who can replace me. I’m sure someone maybe can replace me, but all I can say is there have been 15 copies of The Apprentice and every one of them failed.”
In 2005, Martha Stewart hosted The Apprentice for one season. Bethenny Frankel, later known as a reality show star in her own right, was the runner-up on that program.
The Celebrity Apprentice started its most recent season in January 2015. The broadcast took place about a year after the episodes were originally filmed. The long delay was evident when Keshia Knight-Pulliam was fired for not asking her television dad, Bill Cosby, for money. That episode was taped before allegations about Cosby’s sexual improprieties were made public.
The season also featured Joan Rivers, who passed away before the show went to air.
In January, Hollywood Reporter writer Michael O’Connell said Trump was “not fully grasping ratings,” when the Apprentice host said the show was number one on television. Eventually Trump backtracked and said it topped Monday night ratings, which was also untrue.
In the wake of Trump’s remarks, several of his former business allies have also cut ties with the mogul. They include Univision, which also refused to air the Miss USA pageant. Macy’s also promised to phase out Trump’s menswear collection, and Serta will not renew its licensing agreement. New York Mayor Bill deBlasio stated he is reviewing Trump’s contracts with the city.
Trump did get one note of “thanks.” America Ferrera wrote in The Huffington Post that his comments energized Latino voters to go to the polls.
“I hope by now you understand that without the Latino vote, there is no chance of you ever winning this election. If you don’t believe me, you could ask President Bush or you could even ask President Obama.”
[Photo by Christopher Gregory / Getty Images News]