LOS ANGELES, March 3 Arnold Schwarzenegger is
quitting his role as host of NBC's reality show "The Celebrity
Apprentice," blaming U.S. President Donald Trump's ongoing role
as executive producer for low ratings.
Action movie star Schwarzenegger took over as host of
"Celebrity Apprentice" last year, and his first season, which
premiered in January, has been watched by around 4 to 5 million
"I loved every second of working with NBC and Mark Burnett.
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,"
Schwarzenegger said in a statement.
The actor's representative said Schwarzenegger would not be
returning for a second season.
NBC, a unit of Comcast Corp, did not comment on
Schwarzenegger's decision not to return for another season, or
the show's future on Friday.
Schwarzenegger, a Republican who served two terms as
California governor but said he did not vote for Trump as
president, told UK film magazine Empire in an interview
published on Friday that he was leaving the show due to Trump's
"I learned a lot, I had a great time, it was a really great
opportunity," Schwarzenegger said. "But under the circumstances
I don't want to do it again."
"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," Schwarzenegger
told the publication.
New York businessman Trump became a household name as the
host of "The Apprentice" and "The Celebrity Apprentice" for 14
seasons. Contestants on the reality show vie to show their
Trump, who took office in January after winning November's
presidential election, has mocked Schwarzenegger and the 43
percent fall in the 18-to-49-year-old audience for the show's
His comments sparked a Twitter fight between America's two
Some 20 million Americans were regular watchers of "The
Apprentice" in the show's first year, falling to around 6
million in 2015 for the last episode of "The Celebrity
Apprentice" hosted by Trump.
(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Jill Serjeant and