Update: The current presdient and former star of The Apprentice has weighed in, claiming that Arnold Schwarzenegger did not quit the show but instead that he was fired.
That's right: Donald Trump hit Twitter to refute the Governator's claims.
Arnold Schwarzenegger isn't voluntarily leaving the Apprentice, he was fired by his bad (pathetic) ratings, not by me. Sad end to great show— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017
The show's producers have not substantiated Trump's claims at press time.
Schwarzenegger responded with dry humor.
You should think about hiring a new joke writer and a fact checker. https://t.co/SvAjuPdHfa— Arnold (@Schwarzenegger) March 4, 2017
This story was originally published on March 3, 2017.
He won't be back. Arnold Schwarzenegger told The Hollywood Reporter today that he wouldn't be participating in any new seasons or incarnations of The Celebrity Apprentice. Schwarzenegger replaced now-President Trump as the show's host this season, since Trump's schedule was full of things like running for president, throwing public tantrums, and of course, tweeting.
"I loved every second of working with NBC and Mark Burnett. Everyone — form the celebrities to the crew to the marketing department — was a straight 10," Schwarzenegger told THR. "I would absolutely work with all of them again on a show that doesn't have this baggage. NBC did everything they could to promote the show and [producer] Mark Burnett did a fantastic job. No one really knew that this was going to happen and I think that everyone was caught off guard.”
Variety reports that ratings were down this season, as well, which could be another reason that Schwarzenegger turned in his resignation letter. The former California governor attributes some of that to Trump's continued involvement with the show. During campaign season, Trump had stated that he'd remove himself as executive producer, but that never transpired.
“Even if asked [to do it again] I would decline. 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. It's a very divisive period now and I think this show got caught up in all that division," Schwarzenegger said diplomatically in an interview with Empire magazine. "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!'"
The Hollywood Reporter adds that Schwarzenegger's departure makes additional seasons of Celebrity Apprentice more and more unlikely. Perhaps in four years, it'll come back? There's no news on whether or not the traditional, non-celebrity Apprentice will continue.
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