Donald Trump was allegedly a “nightmare” to work with on The Apprentice, and his reported bad behavior includes convincing NBC to send $500,000 to his now-defunct charity, the Trump Foundation, in order to stay on The Celebrity Apprentice.
In 2011, Trump was considering running for president, according to The Hollywood Reporter, but producers at NBCUniversal wanted him to stick around on his show. While the original Apprentice series had been surpassed by Celebrity Apprentice, the network wanted to keep him around to help with flagging ratings.
Steve Burke, then-CEO of the network, was forced to figure out a way to keep Trump around as the star of the series. On top of the compensation he was already getting, he reportedly also managed to get $500,000 for his charity.
Apparently, he had also gotten $10,000 for his charity in 2007 in order to do some additional work for NBCU.
“It just shows his serial bad behavior,” a former executive with the network revealed. “‘I may be your employee and I’m supposed to go [to the upfront presentation] but I’m going to leverage you.'”
Reportedly, even after the money was sent, he left the showrunners hanging until the last minute before confirming he would return.
At the time, some people assumed that the now-president may have kept the cash rather than funneling it into his philanthropic organization.
In 2019, Trump’s charity was dissolved by court order after the New York attorney general found that there was a “shocking pattern of illegality.”
The incident is just one recounted by insiders who suggest that Trump was difficult to work with the entire time he was on the series.
“Trump was always a nightmare,” said one insider. “He tried to get the showrunners fired every other day. One of them was in the hot seat at all times.”
The show eventually went through three showrunners, forcing them to create a system to keep things running smoothly.
“We had to build all kinds of systems with producers to make sure the show stayed on the rails… He was the perfect character: unfiltered stream of consciousness, crazy, well-edited to appear cohesive.”
Trump also apparently had ideas that the team felt were so poor that they shouldn’t be entertained, such as having disgraced New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer or the escort that was involved in the scandal that ended his political career as contestants.
This isn’t the first time that people in the entertainment business have alleged bad behavior on Trump’s part. Ron Howard recently said that people didn’t like him because he was dishonest and self-serving, as The Inquisitr previously reported.