President-elect Donald Trump is drawing criticism from virtually every walk of life for his decision yesterday to remain on as a producer for the The Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice television shows he helped make famous.
The incoming commander-in-chief will retain his executive producer credit on New Celebrity Apprentice, which is set to make its reality TV debut early next year. It was Variety that first reported Trump would retain this spot.
The far more pressing issue, according to Variety, regards the level of compensation that Donald Trump will receive for his role in New Celebrity Apprentice.
“It’s unclear what his per-episode fee is,” said the magazine’s Cynthia Littleton, “but it is likely to be in the low five-figures, at minimum.”
MGM, itself, declined to comment on the financial terms of Trump’s deal. A spokesperson for the president-elect, Hope Hicks, however, has confirmed that Trump will keep a financial interest in the Apprentice brand with which he is so nearly exclusively known.
“Mr. Trump has a big stake in the show and conceived of it with Mark Burnett,” said Hicks said, also per Variety.
Regardless of what happens with Trump’s pockets behind the camera, however, it is already known that it will not be the future president who now deals out the famous tagline, “You’re fired.”
According to PBS, the new season of New Celebrity Apprentice on NBC starts up on January 2 with action film star and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger at the helm.
Like Trump before him, Arnold will also serve as an executive producer for the program.
Of course, Trump’s former Celebrity Apprentice home on NBC was among the first to criticize the then-GOP candidate for a series controversial remarks and ill-timed comments, both related to Trump’s beauty pageants and telecasts of The Apprentice.
NBC claimed to cut all business ties with Donald Trump following his now-famous lines regarding undocumented Mexican immigrants being criminals and rapists in July of 2015.
Despite those claims, however, the network will continue to license New Celebrity Apprentice from its producer, MGM.
In spite of NBC’s seemingly contradictory attitude toward the former face of Celebrity Apprentice, however, a number of other critics of Trump’s politics, business dealings, and seemingly freeflow blend of the two continue to surface.
According to PBS, President-elect Trump announced that he would publicly disclose his extensive plans that are designed to “take me completely out of business operations” for his empire, plans that are at least partially expected to include a transfer of management tasks to his two sons and daughter.
“[Trump’s continued management] falls short of what some government ethics experts are pushing him for,” said the AP’s Lynn Elber, via PBS, “which is that he sell his assets and put the money in a ‘blind trust’.”
TV producer-ship, PBS noted, can be a different type of animal, in that the title may not necessarily carry with it anything more than a show of respect for Trump’s roots with the Apprentice brand.
Mark Burnett, the creator and executive producer for Trump’s The Apprentice, as well as other hit TV programs such as Survivor and The Voice, tried to put the conflict in perspective. Burnett issued a statement in October amid external pressure to post archived The Apprentice outtakes that some believed showed Trump acting in a misogynistic manner.
As PBS documented, Burnett said, “I am not now and have never been a supporter of Donald Trump’s candidacy. I am NOT ‘Pro-Trump.’ Further, my wife and I reject the hatred, division and misogyny that has been a very unfortunate part of his campaign.”
Ultimately, none of the outtakes in question — which would be owned by MGM — were ever released.
[Featured Image by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images]