Image: The Hill
Its official! The President-Elect of the United States until January 20th shall remain an executive producer on NBC’s “The Celebrity Apprentice.” In December, Variety reported that Donald Trump would appear in the credits of The Celebrity Apprentice as a producer in a slightly different order than previously aired episodes.
Any questions or doubts that he would not change his mind about remaining a producer and/or confidence that Mr. Trump would make the right choice and choose to not remain an executive producer causing conflicts of interests can be thrown away as of Monday night when his name was listed as an executive producer in the closing credits of the premier of “The New Celebrity Apprentice” albeit in a much smaller font than his fellow executive producers, Mark Burnett, Page Feldman, Eric Van Wagenen and Arnold Schwarzenegger, the latter of whom has taken over Trump’s role as host, after the credits turned to black. That said, CNBC social media editor Steve Kopack appeared to spot Trump’s name at another point in the show where his name was as large as his fellow producers, although it was unable to verify by The Huffington Post.
The role that Donald Trump will portray in the program’s production is unclear but has been argued since he became the President-Elect. Monday’s credits only confirm what MGM, the show’s production company, and Trump’s team had already said. MGM noted he would remain an executive producer, and Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for Trump, said in December that Trump would remain financially connected to the show. Variety estimates he will earn at least $10,000 per episode this season, but noted that he will be paid by MGM, not NBC.
Many have been questioning the time that Mr. Trump will be spending as the producer of the show, and whether it would divert his attention from his new position as the leader of the free world. In a recent Tweet, Trump said that he would have “NOTHING to do with The Apprentice.”
I have NOTHING to do with The Apprentice except for fact that I conceived it with Mark B & have a big stake in it. Will devote ZERO TIME!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 10, 2016
Whether or not Donald Trump spends time working on the show, being paid to be an executive producer of the show is a conflict of interest by possibly having a reason to want to create laws that are to MGM’s or NBC’s benefit.