Donald Trump is going to produce the Celebrity Apprentice from the Oval Office.
The sad development in the seemingly endless stream of bad decisions by president-elect Trump was broken by Variety. The entertainment site confirmed with MGM that despite obvious reasons why this plan is not okay, Trump will not relinquish his “Executive Producer” credit and will – even more disturbingly – actually profit from the show while he is in office.
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.
This means that Trump will have a financial incentive to see The Celebrity Apprentice thrive. Given his inability to separate his work from his personal life, we can only imagine that he will synergize his tweets to drive viewers to the show – possibly even from the @POTUS account.
The fact that he won’t step down from Celebrity Apprentice is yet another sign that Trump has every intention of running the White House as an vanity project. Trump made a lot of noise about turning down the (relatively modest) salary he would get as president, but that feigned generosity is undermined by his attachment to his other business entanglements. Already those connections have led to problems, including a full-scale showdown with China over Taiwan.
In an added twist to this sordid story, Trump will once again be working along with his close friend Mark Burnett. The reality show mogul came under fire during the election for allegedly ordering employees of The Apprentice to never release any embarrassing tapes they may have of Trump or face his legal wrath. Following the controversy, Burnett swore he didn’t support Trump and the press believed him. It was an obvious lie.
The two remain very close. So close, in fact, that Burnett is helping Trump turn the inauguration into a reality tv event.
On Wednesday, The New York Times reported that President-elect Donald Trump met in his office at Trump Tower on Tuesday with his friend and former colleague Mark Burnett, the reality-TV kingpin who created Trump’s The Apprentice. According to the Times, Burnett was “actively involved in producing the inauguration week festivities,” and his ideas included “a parade up Fifth Avenue, [and] a helicopter ride to Washington from New York” for Trump.
Now the two buddies will get to work on Celebrity Apprentice together, despite Trump supposedly running the country.
Featured image via NBC15