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'The Apprentice' producer says Donald Trump used the N-word on set

Geoff Weiss,Brent D. Griffiths   

'The Apprentice' producer says Donald Trump used the N-word on set
  • The "Apprentice" producer Bill Pruitt said Donald Trump used the N-word on set.
  • Pruitt wrote in Slate that the moment was captured on a tape that would likely never surface.

A producer on "The Apprentice" said Donald Trump used the N-word in a moment caught on tape that would likely never see the light of day.

In an article he wrote for Slate, Bill Pruitt said he was one of four producers on the show's first two seasons. He signed a nondisclosure agreement that expired this year — roughly 20 years after "The Apprentice" premiered.

Pruitt said that off-camera deliberations about contestant firings were filmed in case the show was ever questioned by the Federal Communications Commission, which didn't allow fixing outcomes on game shows.

Pruitt said Trump used the slur while discussing the first-season finalists, Bill Rancic and Kwame Jackson.

Pruitt wrote that after one of Trump's employees and advisors on the show spoke positively about Jackson, Trump used the racial slur in asking whether America would "buy" a Black person winning the competition.

Slate said a representative for the Trump campaign told it that Pruitt's account was a "completely fabricated and bullshit story that was already peddled in 2016." The representative argued that the claims were resurfacing because Democrats were "desperate."

Pruitt said that producers who heard Trump's remarks didn't discuss the incident in the moment and that he believed the tapes would never be found.

A representative for NBCUniversal declined to comment.

Pruitt isn't the first person involved with "The Apprentice" to say Trump used the N-word.

Omarosa Manigault Newman, who also appeared on the first season of the show and who worked for the Trump administration until January 2018, has said she listened to a recording where Trump used the slur. Trump said that no such tape existed and called Manigault Newman "wacky and deranged."

Rumors of outtake tapes from "The Apprentice" have swirled for years.

Mark Burnett, the reality-TV megaproducer who created the show, denounced Trump before the 2016 election. But Burnett said he had no legal rights to release any tapes. A lawyer for MGM, which bought Burnett's production company, also said in 2016 that it didn't have the rights to release any footage.

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