Schwarzenegger Won’t Return to ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ Over Trump
We’ll never know how Schwarzenegger’s takeover of The Celebrity Apprentice might have succeeded on its own merits, as the results of the 2016 election held a dark cloud over anything bearing Trump’s name. That shade appears to have gotten to Schwarzenegger as well, as the ex-Governator apparently won’t return for another season, citing its toxic association.
Schwarzenegger stated as much to Empire, though Celebrity Apprentice has not yet been renewed for an additional season, nor has any formal offer been extended to the legendary Terminator star and ex-California Governor. Between revelations that Trump would still receive a producer’s credit, and the Tweeter-in-Chief reminding America of his association with denigration of his successor’s ratings, Schwarzenegger noted that viewers and sponsors had tuned out:
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.
As such, Schwarzenegger couldn’t in good conscience continue his own association with the show:
Even if asked [to do it again] I would decline. 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.
Granted, the appetite for reality competition (and “celebrity” reality competition at that) isn’t what it once was, and Trump’s own boasts about Apprentice ratings were often disproven, should Arnold have stuck with it? Is the show’s legacy tainted regardless?