Even though Donald Trump will be sworn in as the 45th president next month, he will remain an executive producer on “Celebrity Apprentice,” according to a new report from Variety.
The show has been off the air for two years and will be returning with a new host, Arnold Schwarzenegger, but Trump’s name will appear in the credits as an EP and he will continue to get payments from the show.
More from the report:
MGM confirmed to Variety that Trump has retained his EP credit on the series. The president-elect’s status on the 15th season of the reality series that made him a household name has been a question since Trump launched his presidential campaign in June 2015. In the credit sequence, Trump’s name will air after that of “Apprentice” creator Mark Burnett and before Schwarzenegger, who is also an exec producer of the new incarnation along with Page Feldman and Eric Van Wagenen.
The larger issue for MGM, NBC, and the White House is the payment that Trump will receive for the series. It’s unclear what his per-episode fee is, but it is likely to be in the low five-figures, at minimum. NBC has ordered eight episodes of “The New Celebrity Apprentice.” Trump’s fees will be paid through MGM, the production entity on the show, not NBC. MGM declined to comment on the financial terms of Trump’s deal. A spokeswoman for Trump did not immediately respond to a request for comment. NBC declined to comment.
Alone, this news would be shocking, but this type of thing is the norm for the incoming president. Twitter users, of course, didn’t miss a beat.
imagine his email signature
President of the United States
Executive Producer, “Celebrity Apprentice”
— Tanya Chen (@Tanya_Chen) December 8, 2016
Turns out the ultimate winner of “Celebrity Apprentice” might wind up being President Mike Pence.
— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) December 9, 2016
Trump skips Intel meetings to remain Executive Producer of Celebrity Apprentice.
— The Oncoming Storm (@ShomahKhoobi) December 9, 2016
Well, the good news is we’ve cleared up the mystery behind why those damning Celebrity Apprentice tapes were never released by NBC.
— Amy Siskind (@Amy_Siskind) December 8, 2016
Throughout the campaign, and now the transition process, Trump has shown that he isn’t serious about separating himself from his business interests and lavish personal life in order to fully dedicate his time to the presidency.
While he now claims he will remove himself from his companies, he hasn’t said how. It’s particularly doubtful that he’ll completely cut these ties given the likelihood of his children being put in charge.
News that Trump will now collect a paycheck from a reality show is simply another chapter in a story we’ve all become familiar with.
As Variety notes, “The fact that a sitting president will be on the payroll of a current TV show is another example of the thicket of potential conflicts of interest raised by Trump’s segue from private businessman and TV star to commander-in-chief.”
There is nothing normal about this.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.