After months of spats and comments directed towards Donald Trump, The Apprentice host Arnold Schwarzenegger has announced he will not be returning after his first year on the series, claiming Trump is behind the show’s poor ratings.
Upon Donald Trump’s announcement in 2015 that he would be officially running for president, abandoning his long time role in The Apprentice, the producers quickly sought his replacement to continue the show’s success and strong ratings. That person turned out to be none other than Hollywood icon and former governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger.
After only a single season as host Schwarzenegger tells Empire Online that he is quitting The Apprentice, repeatedly blaming Trump for the show’s poor performance and difficulties.
Schwarzenegger claims that even if he was offered the chance to participate in another season, he would refuse, citing the current circumstances and “divisions” in the country.
“Even if asked [to do it again] I would decline,” Schwarzenegger told Empire . “I learned a lot, I had a great time, it was a really great opportunity. But under the circumstances I don’t want to do it again”, Schwarzenegger said.
The former governor continued by saying, “With Trump being involved in the show people have a bad taste and don’t want to participate as a spectator or sponsor or in any other way support the show. It’s a very divisive period right now and I think the show got caught up in all that division.”
Arnold claims that President Trump, who is still listed as an executive producer of the show, is reason behind the show’s poor ratings and contributed to his decision to quit. He states that because Trump’s name was still attached to The Apprentice in some manner that people started “boycotting it”.
“It’s not about the show,” Schwarzenegger said. “Because everyone I ran into came up to me and said ‘I love the show…but I turned it off as I read Trump’s name I’m outta there.’ “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,” he added.
Arnold Schwarzenegger often engaged in negative jabs towards Trump, and threw his endorsement behind Trump’s opponent John Kasich during the Republican primaries.
Trump responded in kind over the months with his own comments regarding Schwarzenegger and consistently pointed out The Apprentice’s poor performance since he took the lead role.
At a National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday Trump addressed the news about The Apprentice’s lack of success since his departure, and even said he would “pray for Arnold” and his ratings.
Pres. Trump jokes about Arnold Schwarzenegger as host of “Apprentice”: “I want to just pray for Arnold if we can for those ratings.” pic.twitter.com/hNy115htJr
— ABC News (@ABC) February 2, 2017
I suspect we haven’t seen the last of Schwarzenegger in the entertainment industry, or in politics, and it won’t be long before we hear the former governor say, “I’ll be back”. For now, however, Arnold Schwarzenegger has been “terminated”, by his own decision of course, from The Apprentice.