Arnold Schwarzenegger won’t be back on NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice. [The actor and former governor of California said Friday he would not return next season to helm the reality television show made popular by his predecessor and now president Donald Trump. “I loved every second of working with NBC and Mark Burnett.
Everyone — from the celebrities to the crew to the marketing department — was a straight 10, and I would absolutely work with all of them again on a show that doesn’t have this baggage,” Schwarzenegger told Empire magazine in an interview. “Even if asked [to do it again] I would decline,” he added. “With Trump being involved in the show people have a bad taste and don’t want to participate as a spectator or as a sponsor or in any other way support the show.
It’s a very divisive period now and I think this show got caught up in all that division. ” Schwarzenegger took the helm of the reality show in January after NBC severed its business ties with Trump due to his presidential campaign. The rebooted show debuted to poor ratings and lackluster reviews, and the show struggled with ratings through the entirety of its run.
On Thursday, the Wrap reported that at least five of the show’s twelve corporate sponsors had decided to withdraw from participating in the show next season. The sponsors were reportedly targeted by a campaign called #GrabYourWallet, which boycotts brands and individuals associated with President Trump. Though Trump no longer hosted the show, he retained an executive producer credit and his name appeared in the titles.
“When people found out that Trump was still involved as executive producer and was still receiving money from the show, then half the people [started] boycotting it,” Schwarzenegger told Empire. NBC has not yet announced whether it will bring back Celebrity Apprentice for next season. Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum.