Arnold Schwarzenegger revealed in an interview published Friday that he would not return to “Celebrity Apprentice,” given President Donald Trump’s continued involvement in the show.
In a tweet Saturday morning, Trump responded to the news by claiming Schwarzenegger’s departure from the NBC series was not optional. Forever true to his brand, he stated that the host was “fired” due to “pathetic” ratings.
“Sad end to great show,” the president concluded.
The reality series began airing as “The Apprentice” in 2004, with Trump as its host. It’s unclear whether “Celebrity Apprentice” will now be cancelled.
After Schwarzenegger took over for Trump earlier this year, the transition between hosts proved acrimonious. The president had taken a break from the show while he campaigned, but it became clear that even his promotion to the highest office in the U.S. couldn’t keep him from remarking on his replacement’s performance.
In a feud that played out publicly on Twitter, Trump attacked Schwarzenegger’s ratings. He even used his platform at the National Prayer Breakfast to take a dig at the reality TV host, asking those present to pray for the show’s ratings. Schwarzenegger hit back over the social media platform with solid burns each time.
He didn’t let Trump’s latest claim pass by, either, telling the president over Twitter that he should “think about hiring a new joke writer and a fact checker.”
In his recent interview with Empire magazine, Schwarzenegger explained why he thought “Celebrity Apprentice” had become a casualty of a divided political climate.
“With Trump being involved in the show people have a bad taste and don’t want to participate as a spectator or as a sponsor or in any other way support the show,” he said. “It’s a very divisive period now and I think this show got caught up in all that division.”
Certainly the show’s end, if it happens, might allow the president to spend less time tweeting about entertainment programs, as suggested neatly by Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.):
The Huffington Post has reached out to NBC for comment on the fate of “Celebrity Apprentice.”