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Mark Burnett on Wednesday clarified his stance on the current election as pressure mounts for the Apprentice producer to produce old tapes featuring Donald Trump that may echo his comments on the recently released Access Hollywood recordings.
“Given all of the false media reports, I feel compelled to clarify a few points,” reads Burnett’s statement. “I am not now and have never been a supporter of Donald Trump’s candidacy. I am NOT ‘Pro-Trump.’ Further, my wife and I reject the hatred, division and misogyny that has been a very unfortunate part of his campaign.”
Following an Associated Press report about Trump’s sexually demeaning behavior on The Apprentice and a producer’s tweet about the existence of “far worse” tapes than the Access Hollywood footage, Apprentice outtakes have become a hot commodity. MGM lawyers went on to explain that they are not able to release any Apprentice tapes because Burnett himself doesn’t own them.
MGM’s longtime counsel, Marvin S. Putnam of Latham & Watkins, added: “MGM, not Mark Burnett, owns The Apprentice. MGM has agreements with artists across a wide spectrum of creative properties, including The Apprentice. These agreements typically contain provisions related to confidentiality and artists’ rights. MGM has every intention of complying with its agreements with artists and honoring their rights, including with respect to The Apprentice.”
The Hollywood Reporter recently spoke with nearly a dozen men and women who worked with Trump on The Apprentice as well as his pageants. A picture emerged from those interviews of a dominating presence who routinely made sexist and racist comments.
“I did hear what would be in a workplace considered sexist language or inappropriate language, but that was pretty normal, actually, and almost expected,” says season four Apprentice contestant Marshawn Evans.
“It was more a creepy feeling you felt when he was around on set,” says an Apprentice camera operator. “The way he looked at you or would be dismissive to all the female producers and only deal with Mark Burnett — he was just an overall asshole who thought of himself as very important.”
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