Latest Trump Leak: When He Criticized an Apprentice Contestant’s Skin

Beth Greenfield
Senior Writer
Donald Trump in2010. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
Donald Trump in 2010, the year of the Apprentice broadcast during which he obsesses over a contestant’s skin. (Photo: AP/Richard Drew)

Not even a week after the infamous Donald Trump tape went viral comes more evidence of dated yet insulting comments made by the now-GOP candidate — this time on the topic of an Apprentice contestant’s skin, which “sucks,” the TV show boss said in 2010.

A transcript of an episode from the ninth season of The Apprentice, obtained by the Huffington Post, offers more evidence of Trump’s obsession with women’s beauty. In the episode, “Beauty and Brains,” contestants broke into two teams to each give a country music star a makeover, making each star presentable to industry execs. One team was in charge of Emily West, the other handled Luke Bryan. And during board room discussions of the results, Trump repeatedly turned the focus onto West’s skin.

“I assume you’re gonna leave this off, don’t put this s*** on the show, you know. But her skin, her skin sucks, OK?” he said, according to the transcript of the unaired scene. “I mean her skin, she needs some serious f***in’ dermatology.”

Emily West in 2010. (Photo: Jim Smeal/BEI/BEI/Shutterstock
Emily West in 2010. (Photo: Jim Smeal/BEI/BEI/Shutterstock

Cyndi Lauper, who headed the West team, tried explaining that what Trump was seeing was some sort of makeup and not her skin. Conversation then turned a bit to the work at hand but then returned to West’s appearance, in a back-and-forth that lasted about three minutes.

In a statement to the Huffington Post, Hope Hicks said the campaign “can’t comment on an alleged transcript.” Reportedly there’s “far worse” stuff in other transcripts (the Mark Burnett-produced reality show apparently used a transcription service).

“Personally, I am, as you probably heard, not a gay man, but I think he’s better-looking than Emily, OK?” Trump said about Bryan at one point. He also asked guest judge Trace Adkins what he thought about brochures produced by each team. “Well I, um, I, I think the one they did for Emily is a little more polished-looking,” Adkins said, and Trump retorted, “You’re obviously not a skin man.”

Tweets reacting to the unearthed transcript call out Trump out “humiliating” and “degrading” the singer and further displaying his “misogyny,” as well as questioning his focus altogether:

Skin issues, namely acne, are stressful for their sufferers. One recent study found an unsurprising correlation between acne and lower quality of life for teen girls; another showed that having acne had a significant effect on self-image, with a quality-of-life impact as high as for those with epilepsy or asthma. In June, General Hospital actress Kirsten Storms went so far as announcing she’d be taking a break from the show to get her acne flare-up under control. “We all know in this biz appearance is important,” she had tweeted, adding that her breakouts had become “too difficult for GH to cover up.”

When Yahoo Beauty wrote about Storms’s announcement, Connecticut-based psychologist Barbara Greenberg told us, “If you ask most people, they will say that at some point they’ve missed something because of acne, or feeling bloated, or because they were having a bad hair day — and it was probably not only because of their appearance but also related to stress. When it becomes a problem is when it leads to social isolation, or when you miss several days of work — when it becomes a person’s focal point.” Just as it did, thanks to Trump, in that Apprentice board room.

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