Newly released audio of an interview with Howard Stern, reveals that Donald Trump once pitched a “whites against blacks” season of his hit reality show The Apprentice.
According to the New York Times, the audio resurfaced over the weekend and illustrates that even though the then real estate mogul thought his idea was great, NBC executives with a little more racial sensitivity quickly shot it down for obvious reasons.
Trump reportedly made his pitch back in 2005, and in the clip can be heard telling Stern, “It would be nine blacks against nine whites,” clarifying the contestants would be, “All highly educated, very smart, strong, beautiful people,” and that even though the Black group would be a mix of light and dark people, the white group would consist only of blondes.
Right before Season 4, he went to the network executives convinced that this envelope-pushing idea would make The Apprentice the “highest-rated show on television.” But instead of being blown away, following the meeting, appalled higher-ups reportedly had a “series of can-you-believe-this conversations.”
One former senior staffer at NBC reportedly responded to the idea by saying, “Uh, I don’t think so.” But Trump was adamant that he was onto something, which is why he made it a point to tell Stern about it, around the same time. He even asked if Stern and his African American co-host Robin Quivers liked it, to which Stern said “yes,” while Quivers warned, “Well, I think you’re going to have a riot.”
The shock jock then conceded to Quivers’ point, admitting, “on some level it’s wrong,” and asked Trump, “Wouldn’t that set off a racial war in this country?”
“See, actually, I don’t think it would,” Trump replied undeterred. “I think that it would be handled very beautifully by me,” proceeding to then identify himself as “very diplomatic.”
Stern concluded by stating he “would watch” a race-based competition show simply because, “you’d want to know when the riot starts.”