Reality

Trump to remain executive producer of NBC's 'Celebrity Apprentice'

President-elect delivers remarks in Columbus, Ohio

 

President-elect Donald Trump is gone from the boardroom of NBC's reboot of "Celebrity Apprentice" but he's keeping a business connection to the reality show.

Trump has an executive producer credit on "The New Celebrity Apprentice," said Clare Anne Darragh, a spokesman for "Apprentice" creator Mark Burnett. She declined to give any further information on Trump's participation in the show that taped last February.

Trump's representatives did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The series debuts Jan. 2 with Arnold Schwarzenegger replacing Trump as host. Schwarzenegger is an executive producer on the new show, as Trump was on the original.

Trump's continued stake in a TV series is yet another unusual aspect of the election of a businessman and reality star to the presidency.

Trump has tweeted that he will disclose plans on Dec. 15 to "take me completely out of business operations" without detailing what that means. He previously said that he plans to hand over management of his business to three of his adult children.

In TV, a producer's tasks can range widely, but the credit also can be given as a so-called vanity perk and for compensation without actively working on a project. Trade publication Variety first reported he had retained the title.

NBC, which declined comment Thursday, previously faced scrutiny over its business dealings with Trump, which included beauty pageant telecasts as well as "Apprentice."

In July 2015, NBC said it was severing its business ties to Trump following his claims that many undocumented Mexicans immigrants are criminals and rapists. The network licenses "New Celebrity Apprentice" from MGM, which produces it.

Burnett, a mega-producer whose other programs include "Survivor" and "The Voice," also answered for his Trump relationship. He released a statement last October distancing himself and his wife, actress Roma Downey, from the GOP contender.

"I am not now and have never been a supporter of Donald Trump's candidacy. I am NOT 'Pro-Trump.' Further, my wife and I reject the hatred, division and misogyny that has been a very unfortunate part of his campaign," said Burnett, who in 2015 was named president of MGM Television and Digital Group.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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