Mark Burnett Donald Trump The Apprentice

Apprentice Boss Mark Burnett Sets the Record Straight: 'I Am Not Pro-Trump'

Mark Burnett is clarifying his stance on his former Apprentice host Donald Trump.

In a statement released Wednesday, the TV producer says, “Given all the false media reports, I feel compelled to clarify a few points. 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.”

These strong words come after many in the media pressed Burnett to release unaired footage from Trump’s time on The Apprentice, hoping that something as explosive as Friday’s video with Trump making sexist comments to Billy Bush might lie in Burnett’s archives. Burnett said in a statement on Monday that he wasn’t legally able to release any footage, which had some speculating he was trying to protect Trump. (Celebrity attorney Gloria Allred held a news conference on Tuesday calling on Burnett to release the footage.)

Trump hosted NBC’s The Apprentice, which Burnett created, from its 2004 debut until last year, when NBC dropped him following his remarks about Mexicans being “murderers” and “rapists.” Former Apprentice producer Bill Pruitt hinted on Twitter that he recalls “far worse” footage of Trump from his time on the show.

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20 Comments
  1. Wordsmith says:

    I wonder if one of the conditions of Trump exiting the show was that they are legally bound not to release anything about him without permission. Not sure if he had the leverage to make that kind of deal when he was essentially fired, but I don’t claim to be a “business genius.”

    • Coop says:

      I’m assuming they were the conditions for him being on the show in the first place. Being fired wouldn’t change anything they were previously bound to with regards to his comments on set.

      • Wordsmith says:

        Well, except that it mostly seems like all footage is the property of the show, and the talent doesn’t have much say in how it’s used (like all those contestants who get the “villain edit”).
        Trump is pushy and narcissistic enough that he probably fought for editorial control going in, and certainly would have made sure to cover his ass on the way out.

        • Coop says:

          Trump was (is still?) a producer of the show. Big difference between being a contestant too, as they generally have to sign away pretty much everything to appear on a show. Nobody in Trump’s position would have agreed to make the show in the first place if they didn’t have control, protection, etc.

        • Ben says:

          Talent has as much control as their contract says they have. Which is usually zero, but Trump might have negotiated something else.

  2. Joey says:

    Only releasing this comment now because Barry Diller called him out.

  3. SJ says:

    Why does it even matter if a celebrity supports DJT or not? Jeez, you’d think that supporting Trump is like denying the Holocaust. “I’m not a Trump supporter” has now become the new “I’m not a racist”.

    In what sick world are we living where people are afraid to voice their political opinion?

    • Jane Lane says:

      You can only voice your political opinion if you’re a liberal. It’s much worse during this election because trump is so polarizing, but no celebrity would have admitted that they were Romney fans either. It’s only cool to be a democrat these days.

      Who you were voting for used to be a personal and private thing. Now it’s splashed all over social media and you find political stories on Entertainment sites.

      This whole election bums me out. Never has the American public had such a dismal choice to make.

    • Hillary says:

      I’m not a fan of either candidate but totally see where you’re coming from. I’m a Christian and a Republican, and I swear I can’t even get that out in a conversation before I’ve been 100% judged and tossed aside. I’ve definitely been a little weary to make my political stance public this year.

    • grazelled says:

      I don’t even know if Mark Burnett is actually a US or British citizen. It seems like he’s trying to protect his brand/business more than anything else although why did he allow Trump to star in the Apprentice for so long if he doesn’t support him…

      • Coop says:

        You can support people in your line of business and not their politics, especially when it is highly profitable. Both. Looks like he became an American citizen 25+ years ago. :)

    • Ben says:

      It matters to anyone if they are called out in the press as holding a view they don’t have, and I think anyone who holds a view, but has the media spreading lies, would want to keep quiet.

      Personally, I don’t think any Trump supporters have been shown to be at all shy in admitting they are one. That includes celebrities.

    • Katherine215 says:

      It matters because Trump has vile and disgusting views and Burnett doesn’t want people thinking he shares them. I don’t think he’s “afraid” of expressing a political opinion, I think he’s afraid of people thinking he is the same kind of person as Trump.

    • JScout says:

      Supporting Trump is supporting a white supremacist, because that’s what he is. He hired Steve Bannon of Breitbart as the CEO of his campaign. You can’t get more white supremacist than that and Trump put him in charge.

  4. Sue says:

    Um, so why did he enable this behavior on the show that he was EP? Not buying it.

  5. dman6015 says:

    My guess is Trump, no slouch in negotiations, made sure there was language in the contract giving him a say in the handling of taped episodes. If so, getting him to sign off on releasing them would be about as easy as trying to get his tax returns released.

  6. Mary says:

    At this stage does it really matter. One tape was quite enough if you ask me, don’t feel the need to hear anymore of his rude crude remarks. The fact that if anyone thinks it is a one time occurrence or that he is not a chauvinist pig more tapes won’t sway them. November 8th cannot come quick enough.

    • Carlos says:

      Agree. I don’t want hear more about it. I don’t understand the people who haven’t decided who to vote for. Let’s vote and move on….