Mark Burnett Breaks Silence on ‘The Apprentice’ Footage, Donald Trump

Elizabeth Wagmeister

Mark Burnett has finally broken his silence about the prospect of releasing un-aired footage of Donald Trump from “The Apprentice.”

Turns out, Burnett, creator of “The Apprentice,” and MGM, which owns the rights to “The Apprentice” and “Celebrity Apprentice,” will not be releasing any footage.

The statement by Burnett and MGM, released to Variety on Monday afternoon, reads: “MGM owns Mark Burnett’s production company and ‘The Apprentice’ is one of its properties. Despite reports to the contrary, Mark Burnett does not have the ability nor the right to release footage or other material from ‘The Apprentice.’ Various contractual and legal requirements also restrict MGM’s ability to release such material. The recent claims that Mark Burnett has threatened anyone with litigation if they were to leak such material are completely and unequivocally false. To be clear, as previously reported in the press, which Mark Burnett has confirmed, he has consistently supported Democratic campaigns.”

The statement comes after much pressure on Burnett, along with MGM and NBC, to address possible un-aired “Apprentice” footage that could showcase Trump’s potentially disparaging behavior against women on the set of the NBC show, which he hosted from 2004 to early 2015. Last week, the AP released a deep-dive report of the GOP presidential candidate’s behavior on the show with more than 20 “Apprentice” staffers and contestants — some who spoke on record — to share their accounts of Trump’s lewd commentary and sexist remarks behind the scenes of the reality show.

The pressure to release any footage of Trump came to a high this weekend, after a vulgar video of Trump with former “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush from 2005 surfaced on Friday. The video was a hot topic during Sunday night’s presidential debate.

Over the weekend, MGM and a spokesperson for Burnett declined to comment to any media requests about “The Apprentice” footage, and Burnett has not been vocal about Trump, ever since he announced his candidacy last year.

MGM bought Burnett’s One Three Media shingle in 2014 and 2015, thus taking ownership of the rights to “The Apprentice” franchise.

Per the statement above, Burnett is a longtime supporter of the Democratic party. In past presidential cycles, he has been a prominent donor to Democratic candidates and the Democratic National Committee.

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