On Friday, March 3, 2017, former California Governor, fitness educator and action star Arnold Schwarzenegger informed the media that he would not be returning to “The New Celebrity Apprentice” as host after the most recent season’s poor ratings. He said that the show had too much “baggage” because of its link to executive-producer President Donald Trump. He stated that he would agree to work with Mark Burnett, the show’s producer, and NBC again if another project became available, but he implied that the show’s ratings are proof that people have stopped watching because they have a “bad taste” in their mouths because of Trump.
Trump fired back on Saturday on Twitter by saying that Schwarzenegger wouldn’t be returning for another season because he was “fired.” He also called the show’s ratings with Schwarzenegger as host “(pathetic).” Trump’s critics have since noted that he’s just as responsible for the show’s bad ratings and that Schwarzenegger’s statements are in some ways correct:
Trump made a point of criticizing Schwarzenegger extensively during the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday, February 2, before the show had even finished out its season. He claimed that the ratings “went right down the tubes” because of Schwarzenegger taking over the show, called it a “total disaster” and asked the event-goers to pray for Schwarzenegger to get better ratings. He then continued to say negative statements about the other actor on Twitter and in statements to the media for days after The Terminator fired back by asking The Donald to switch jobs with him since he was a ratings expert. Critics have also pointed out that the president currently has a low political public approval rating and many members of the show’s younger target market refuse to support any of his business ventures because they want him to fail.