According to a new report from The Daily Beast, during a taping for the 2013 season of The Celebrity Apprentice, now-presidential candidate Donald Trump repeatedly referred to rapper Lil Jon as "Uncle Tom."
Jon was dressed up like Uncle Sam for that day's challenge, and when Trump heard about the costume, he joked that he was dressed like "Uncle Tom," three Apprentice staffers confirmed to The Daily Beast. According to one of those staffers, it appeared that Trump had no idea the phrase -- which refers to a black person who is overeager to gain the approval of white people -- is derogatory.
"He just couldn't grasp that it was offensive… When [Trump] decides he wants to do something, that's his way," the staffer said.
The Apprentice staffers said the incident became a "mini-crisis" when Arsenio Hall -- a guest on that episode -- heard Trump use the phrase "Uncle Tom" and expressed his displeasure to the staff.
A request to a rep for Lil Jon was unreturned at press time.
Trump has been accused of racism throughout his presidential campaign, though he has assured voters during speeches and the first two debates that he would be the better choice of leader for African-Americans.
Update: Lil Jon addressed the incident on Twitter writing that he and his castmates "addressed Trump immediately when we heard the comment. I can't say if he knew what he was actually saying or not, but he did stop using that terms once we explained it's [sic] offensiveness."