Blaming Trump 'Baggage,' Schwarzenegger Dumps 'Celebrity Apprentice'
Arnold Schwarzenegger (remember when he was our state governor? wow) won't be returning for another season of The Celebrity Apprentice, reports the L.A. Times.
The show has been plagued with low ratings in its first season without its former star Donald Trump, who'd gone off to take on a new job as an IRL awful boss. The current season premiered on January 2 with just under 5 million viewers, a 27% dropoff compared to last season's debut under Trump. Also, the season finale finished dead last in its time slot across the four major broadcast networks.
As to why the ratings have been scant, Schwarzenegger says it's not because of Trump's departure, but rather his lingering presence; Trump is still billed as an executive producer. In fact, Forbes estimated that Trump is set to receive a $7 million paycheck.
"It's not about the show," Schwarzenegger told Empire as he spoke on the dwindling viewership, "because everyone I ran into came up to me and said 'I love the show... but I turned it off because as soon as I read Trump's name I'm outta there!'"
He added: "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."
According to Entertainment Weekly, Schwarzenegger said in a statement that, "Everyone—from the celebrities to the crew to the marketing department—was a straight 10," adding that he'd work with them again "on a show that doesn’t have this baggage.”
Some viewers may have been warded off thanks to the efforts of #GrabYourWallet, a campaign that urges people to boycott companies doing business with Trump (they have a spreadsheet of said companies). Organizers for the campaign say they've convinced six corporate backers to sever ties with The Celebrity Apprentice, according to The Wrap.
One of the co-founders of #GrabYourWallet tweeted about Schwarzenegger's departure from the show:
Also, in the grand scheme of things, It probably didn't help that Trump had bashed Schwarzenegger and, by extension, his own show (which, we remind you again, is paying him $7 million):
Plans for the next season of The Celebrity Apprentice have yet to be unveiled.