Mark Burnett Meets With Trump Over Inauguration Plans
The reality TV producer reportedly suggested "a helicopter ride to Washington from New York that could hold the attention of millions of people" as part of the proceedings.
Is Donald Trump enlisting his Apprentice producer to help plan his inauguration ceremony?
The president-elect, in the midst of his transition to the White House and six weeks away from his big Washington celebration, has met with prolific producer Mark Burnett to plot ideas for the inauguration, according to The New York Times.
The newspaper wrote that the producer's ideas included "a parade up Fifth Avenue, a helicopter ride to Washington from New York that could hold the attention of millions of people expected to watch from around the world."
On Nov. 15, Trump unveiled his Presidential Inaugural Committee leadership appointments, which include Colony Capital CEO Thomas Barrack as chairman along with Laurie Perlmutter, wife of Marvel chairman Ike Perlmutter, and casino mogul Steve Wynn as a vice chairman.
"The inauguration is going to be huge," Omarosa Manigault, a confidant of Trump and a member of the transition team, told The Hollywood Reporter at the Women in Entertainment breakfast on Wednesday. "Of course, Mr. Trump wants it blinged out and fabulous and glamorous."
Reps for Burnett and the president-elect did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the producer's official or unofficial involvement in the ceremony.
The Emmy-winning producer, also known for TV hits like Survivor, Shark Tank and the miniseries The Bible, has offered few public remarks on Trump recently, even though he's made headlines during the campaign season.
In early October, when Trump's now-infamous crude Access Hollywood audio leaked to the Washington Post, Burnett's production company, which made NBC's The Apprentice, faced pressure from critics to release unaired footage of the mogul.
Multiple people involved with the show spoke to THR at the time — in detail — and outlined Trump's allegedly sexist and racist unaired behavior. Burnett resisted calls to release any footage, and released a statement clarifying the issue.
“Given all of the false media reports, I feel compelled to clarify a few points," Burnett wrote in a Oct 12. 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.”
Additionally, at the time, Burnett's statement included a note from MGM counsel Marvin S. Putnam that clarified: "MGM, not Mark Burnett, owns The Apprentice. MGM has agreements with artists across a wide spectrum of creative properties, including The Apprentice."