To take a spin on the classic catchphrase, it is a case of "I won't be back" for Arnold Schwarzenegger and his famous faces finance frolic The Celebrity Apprentice. The former Governor of California has bowed out of #NBC's reality show after just one season, citing Donald Trump's continued involvement behind the scenes as the main factor.
With a rating dip and various "political" problems, the news is not exactly unexpected. Trump had run the show for the first 14 seasons of The Apprentice/The Celebrity Apprentice, but retained an Executive Producer credit even after his election into the White House. #ArnoldSchwarzenegger said that he would decline the offer to return to the show, but would love work with producer Mark Burnett somewhere with a little less "baggage."
The Trump Card
While not completely amicable, it seems that it isn't that big a deal for Arnie to focus on something other than the waning reality show — I am still holding out for a cameo in The Predator — however, his reports that he walked away have been disputed by one person in particular. Donald Trump typically had something to say about the issue, taking to Twitter to give his side of events:
Joining the likes of Meryl Streep in the Great Trump Twitter War, the Guv spent no time in sniping back at Mr. Trump with a dig about his jokes:
Speaking to Empire Magazine on the issue, 69-year-old Schwarzenegger said:
"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."
Despite both being Republicans, Schwarzenegger refused to back Trump in his presidential campaign and it was clear that the pair were never going to get along. Trump frequently mocking his successor's performance and told Good Morning Britain:
"He works for me. He is a small timer. I mean, he's doing a nice job but don't forget, he works for me I make money from 'The Apprentice.' When we first chose him for the show, he was so low on the economic scale, he didn't really fit the role. I think he's made more money by being on 'The Apprentice' than he has in business."
After running for just three years (but six seasons )under The Apprentice moniker, Season 7 revitalized the series by instead focusing on #celebrity candidates playing for charity. There was a tenth season that flopped by going back to members of the public, so Season 11-14 returned to celebrities, while under Schwarzenegger, Season 15 was dubbed The New Celebrity Apprentice.
Previous big stars from The Celebrity Apprentice included the likes of Joan Rivers, George Takei, and Sharon Osbourne, but with Season 15 offering the likes of American Ninja Warrior host Matt Iseman and The Real Housewives of Atlanta star Porsha Williams, it just isn't the same. In addition to Schwarzenegger laying the blame at the door of the White House, the sponsors seem to be following suit with the "GrabYourWallet" campaign over his participation.
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In a bizarre turn of events, the UK Apprentice judge Alan Sugar has taken to social media in a cringeworthy move, begging that he be the man to take over after Arnie. Admittedly, the UK version still holds strong ratings for the BBC after 12 seasons, but can the cockney wheeler-dealer also win over the American audience? A grumpy hedgehog with a bad temper might not go down so well stateside!
NBC has not yet made a decision on the show's future, but finishing dead last among the other networks, and with half of the Season 15 sponsors already pulling out, it looks like The Apprentice will be needing its pink slip.
Perhaps Donald could stick to running the country instead of getting involved with Kardashian-esque feuds with the good and the great of Hollywood?
Check out the trailer for The Celebrity Apprentice's superb Season 8, and don't forget our poll below!
Do you agree with Arnie's comments on 'The Celebrity Apprentice'?
(Source: Empire) [Poll Image Credit: 'The New Celebrity Apprentice' - NBC]