After one low-rated but controversial season, Arnold Schwarzenegger said he will not return to NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice.
“I loved every second of working with NBC and Mark Burnett,” Schwarzenegger said in a statement. “Everyone — from the celebrities to the crew to the marketing department — was a straight 10, and I would absolutely work with all of them again on a show that doesn’t have this baggage.”
He told website Empire: ”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.”
Celebrity Apprentice, which used to star now President Donald Trump, continues to include Trump as an executive producer. As a result, the show has come under fire for being one of the new president’s many conflicts of interest. Celebrity Apprentice airs on NBC and is produced by Mark Burnett and MGM Television, of which Burnett is president.
On Thursday, The Wrap reported that six of the show’s 12 sponsors had pulled out of the program, citing the #GrabYourWallet campaign, which is encouraging companies not to support Trump. Sponsors to jump ship include Tyra Beauty, Lorissa’s Kitchen, the Los Angeles Clippers, QVC and Carnival Corporation. Jessica Alba’s The Honest Company ran an ad in one episode and doesn’t plan to be back, according to #GrabYourWallet’s Shannon Coulter, as reported by The Wrap.
Regardless of whether Schwarzenegger was returning, Celebrity Apprentice was not a slam dunk to return. It only scored middling ratings, averaging a 1.3 among adults 18-49 in live-plus-three ratings, and 4.9 million viewers, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
READ MORE: The Hollywood Reporter, The Wrap, Empire
[Image courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter/Koury Angelo]