As Arnold Schwarzenegger publicly disavows “The New Celebrity Apprentice,” it’s probably even more unlikely that Donald Trump will earn another Emmy nomination this year – and, even less likely, the thing he has really coveted for years: An Emmy win.
NBC leaves it up to the production company whether to submit for Emmy consideration, and MGM, which now produces “Celebrity Apprentice” (having acquired Mark Burnett Productions a few years ago), has not yet determined whether it will enter the show for Emmy consideration.
If it does, then MGM is contractually obligated to submit Trump’s name as an executive producer (even though his input on this season was minimal) alongside Burnett and others. (NBC, coincidentally, has avoided naming Trump or the show’s other executive producers in its press materials for the show.)
“The Apprentice” (including Trump) was nominated for an Outstanding Reality-Competition Program Emmy in 2004 and 2005, but never again. That frustrated Trump to such a point that he went on an aggressive campaign (including taking Hollywood trade reporters to lunch) in the late 2000s in order to land another nom and ultimately a win — but it didn’t happen.
That’s probably why, on Twitter, Trump has long criticized the Emmy Awards. Among his many Tweets over the years, this one from 2012:
The Emmys are all politics, that’s why, despite nominations, The Apprentice never won–even though it should have many times over.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 24, 2012
The idea of a sitting president being eligible for an Emmy Award is unusual, obviously. (President Obama won a Grammy Award in 2008 in the Best Spoken Word Album category for “The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream.”) But there is really no chance that “Celebrity Apprentice” would be nominated this year, especially given the show’s dismal ratings (averaging 4 million viewers).
Now, it’s even less that Schwarzenegger would participate in any Emmy “For Your Consideration” campaign.
The host first told Empire magazine that he wouldn’t be back, and Trump (who he has recently sparred with on Twitter) is to blame: “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,” he told the magazine. “It’s a very divisive period now and I think this show got caught up in all that division… It’s not about the show… because everyone I ran into came up to me and said ‘I love the show… but I turned it off because as soon as I read Trump’s name I’m outta there!’
“NBC did everything they could to promote the show and Mark Burnett did a fantastic job,” Schwarzenegger added. “No one really knew that this was going to happen and I think that everyone was caught off guard. 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.”
Schwarzenegger followed up that interview with a statement: “I loved every second of working with NBC and Mark Burnett. Everyone – from the celebrities to the crew to the marketing department – was a straight 10, and I would absolutely work with all of them again on a show that doesn’t have this baggage.”
At a press conference for the show in January, Schwarzenegger was diplomatic when asked about Trump and his politics (including climate change, an important issue for Schwarzenegger but one that Trump denies). But after Trump began trashing the show and its ratings on Twitter, the gloves were off — particularly when Trump used the National Prayer Breakfast to take a swipe at the star:
The National Prayer Breakfast? pic.twitter.com/KYUqEZbJIE
— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) February 2, 2017