For years there have been accusations from former employees of The Apprentice that Donald Trump routinely used derogatory and racist language while filming the Mark Burnett produced show. After the Access Hollywood recording of Trump telling host Billy Bush that he “grabbed women by the pussy”, a former producer of The Apprentice took to Twitter to say there were recordings of Trump saying worse . . . much worse.
— Bill Pruitt (@billpruitt) October 8, 2016
Word began to quickly spread that these tapes would show Donald Trump using the “N word” and other vile, racist terms. Former Apprentice contestant and ousted White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman later confirmed that she’d heard both about Trump’s usage of the “N word” and she’d personally overheard him using other racist language. Mega-producer Mark Burnett said he can’t release the tapes because MGM now owns them. MGM Worldwide’s Chairman, also Mark Burnett, says they can’t release the tapes because of “contractual obligations.” Crazy how that works, right?
Now, Lawyers for Civil Rights, a legal organization working on behalf of immigrants is seeking the tapes to prove Donald Trump’s immigration policies are based in racial biases. From NBC News:
The case filed in Boston’s federal court centers on the Trump administration’s decision to end temporary protected status for thousands of immigrants from Haiti, El Salvador and Honduras. Temporary protected status provides safe havens for people from countries experiencing armed conflicts, natural disasters and other challenges.
Lawyers for Civil Rights says in the lawsuit that Trump’s move to rescind the program was rooted in animus against immigrants of color, citing comments he made on the campaign trial and in office.
Another former Apprentice contestant, Summer Zervos, is also seeking Apprentice tapes for her lawsuit against Donald Trump. She’s suing him for defamation after Donald Trump publicly called her a liar when she came forward to accuse Donald Trump of sexually assaulting her. From the Hollywood Reporter in May 2018:
“We are gathering evidence that will prove that the defendant [Trump] lied when he falsely denigrated Ms. Zervos and denied sexually assaulting her,” Wang said. […]
Trump’s lawyers didn’t immediately respond to an inquiry about the new subpoenas, which seek emails, financial records and other documents in addition to any video and audio recordings. Trump’s attorneys have been trying to get the case dismissed or at least held off until after Trump’s presidency.
Trump’s attorneys are still trying to get the Zervos case dismissed saying the president can’t be sued in office, but thus far, it is moving forward.
Why is Mark Burnett so carefully guarding these tapes? Is he worried he’ll be exposed as the man who enabled a racist, lying bully at the expense of the crew and cast who tolerated it for more than a decade? Two years since the Access Hollywood tape and the clamor for The Apprentice tapes doesn’t seem to be dying down . . . at all. Can they hide them away in a vault forever?