Donald Trump's 'Apprentice' had to be 'reverse engineered' because he'd fire people at random

Ben Arnold
·Contributor
Donald Trump (Credit: NBC)
Donald Trump (Credit: NBC)

Working as an editor or producer on Donald Trump’s US version of The Apprentice sounds like it was a bit of a headache.

According to staff on the show, the sequences of events had to be ‘reverse engineered’ in the final cut, because he’d fire people ‘on a whim’.

That meant that people who might have performed well on the show were just as easily fire-able as anyone else once in the boardroom.

As such, sometimes showmakers would have to go back through footage, and edit it highlight any mistakes the fired contestant may have made to make it look as if they’d messed up tasks.

In a profile on Trump and Apprentice creator Mark Burnett, six-season editor Jonathan Braun told The New Yorker: “I find it strangely validating to hear that they’re doing the same thing in the White House.”

Another of the show’s producers, Katherine Walker, added that they would also have to edit Trump’s own performance on the show to make him appear more ‘coherent’.

“We cleaned it up so that he was his best self,” she said. “I’m sure Donald thinks that he was never edited. We didn’t have to change him — he gave us stuff to work with.”

In the profile, other staff members also speak out on how unpopular Trump was to work with.

“There were no Trump fans on the set, I don’t know a single person who worked on the show who voted for Trump,” said one.

Another added: “Most of us knew he was a fake. He had just gone through I don’t know how many bankruptcies. But we made him out to be the most important person in the world. It was like making the court jester the king.”

Producer Bill Pruitt also recalled: “We walked through the offices and saw chipped furniture. We saw a crumbling empire at every turn. Our job was to make it seem otherwise.”

However, rumours that there is tape of Trump using the N-word on a hot mic while making the show, claims Tom Arnold and former contestant Omarosa Manigault Newman have supported, are thought to be unlikely – because Trump was so disliked.

“If there was a tape, it would have spread like wildfire,” added Braun.

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