President Donald Trump just can’t quit the ignominious demise of his former reality TV show “Celebrity Apprentice,” taking to Twitter early Saturday to claim that this past season’s host, Arnold Schwarzenegger,“was fired by his bad (pathetic) ratings, not by me.”
Schwarzenegger replied back to his tweet and said: “You should think about hiring a new joke writer and a fact checker.”
After hosting just one season, Arnold Schwarzenegger announced his departure from the NBC show on Friday and said that Trump mocking him regarding the ratings of the reality TV show was just one example of the “baggage” surrounding the show.
“Even if asked (to do it again) I would decline,” Schwarzenegger told Empire magazine. “I learned a lot, I had a great time, it was a really great opportunity. But under the circumstances, I don’t want to do it again. With Trump being involved in the show, people have a bad taste and don’t want to participate as a spectator or sponsor or in any other way support the show. It’s a very divisive period right now and I think the show got caught up in all that division.”
Trump, who hosted the “Apprentice” franchise from 2003 to 2015, had earlier taken a dig at Schwarzenegger during his address at the National Prayer Breakfast, when he asked the audience to “pray for Arnold’s ratings,” sparking the first feud between the two since Trump took office. Schwarzenegger shot back in a video and said: “You take over TV, cause you’re such an expert in ratings, and I take over your job and then people can finally sleep comfortably again.”
According to data analyzed by the Nielsen company, the show’s 15th season, which Schwarzenegger was a part of, did very poorly among younger audiences. The show averaged fewer than five million viewers per episode, far below any other edition or season of the show, except for a 2010 Trump-hosted edition without celebrities, according to the Guardian. However, compared to the ratings of the first season between 2003 and 2004, viewership of the show has been steadily declining almost every year season and Schwarzenegger implied that the current ratings were to do with the ongoing political climate and opposition to Trump.
“It’s not about the show,” Schwarzenegger said. “Because everyone I ran into came up to me and said ‘I love the show…but I turned it off as I read Trump’s name I’m outta there.’ 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.”
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