Donald Trump’s behavior on the set of NBC’s “The Apprentice” included using demeaning remarks toward women and sexist language, according to Associated Press interviews with more than 20 former contestants and crew members.
According to the report, Trump rated female contestants by the size of their breasts and talked about who he would like to have sex with. It quotes 2005 winner Randal Pinkett as saying that Trump liked “gawking” at women and saying “something to the effect of ‘I’d like to hit that.'”
Trump’s campaign is pushing back against the story, which comes a week after the Republican nominee sparred with a former Miss Universe who said that he had berated her about her weight gain.
“These outlandish, unsubstantiated, and totally false claims fabricated by publicity-hungry, opportunistic, disgruntled former employees, have no merit whatsoever,”Trump’s press secretary Hope Hicks said. “‘The Apprentice’ was one of the most successful primetime television shows of all time and employed hundreds of people over many years, many of whom support Mr. Trump’s candidacy.” The campaign has garnered the support of former contestants like Omarosa Manigault, who is a surrogate for his presidential bid.
The AP story also quotes former producer Katherine Walker, who said that Trump speculated which female contestant would be “a tiger in bed.” Rebecca Arndt, a camera assistant, said that Trump would comment on the attractive appearance of the camera operator, saying things like, “There is a beautiful woman behind that camera, so I only want to look at that.”
Over the weekend, at a campaign rally, Trump said, “I could be doing ‘The Apprentice’ now. Somehow I think this is a little bit more important. Do we agree? Just a little bit?” He suggested that NBC wanted to extend his contract. The network severed ties with him in July of 2015, in the face of criticism over comments he made about Mexican immigrants in his campaign kickoff speech.