More than a year after NBC cut its business ties with Donald Trump over his comments about Mexican immigrants, the network appears to be having a hard time letting go.
“Trump’s role as executive producer on NBC’s reality show ‘The New Celebrity Apprentice’ means the network is indirectly connected to him once again,” Bloomberg reports.
The show begins airing Jan. 2, with Arnold Schwarzenegger in Trump’s old job as host. “That means that when NBC pays Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which owns the program, MGM can then issue a payout to Trump for his portion,” the report notes.
“NBC executives don’t see that as a contradiction to their policy, since the network isn’t paying Trump directly, according to a person familiar with the matter,” Bloomberg notes. “More problematic was NBC’s relationship with Trump as co-owners of the Miss Universe organization, a joint venture that ended when the network broke off ties, the person said.”
The report notes that even after severing ties with Trump last year, the network had him on “Saturday Night Live” as a guest host.
Variety, which initially reported Trump’s executive producer credit in an exclusive, notes: “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 Variety report adds: “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.’”