President-elect Donald Trump has criticized Arnold Schwarzenegger, his replacement as host of The Celebrity Apprentice, saying the Hollywood star was “destroyed” in TV ratings.
Donald Trump, who described himself as a “ratings machine”, wrote: “So much for being a movie star.”
In response, Arnold Schwarzenegger called on Donald Trump to work for all Americans “as aggressively as you worked for your ratings”.
The new season debut on January 2 was seen by an estimated 4.9 million people – down 43% on the last season premiere in 2015.
Arnold Schwarzenegger has received mixed reviews for his debut as the new star of The Celebrity Apprentice.
Arnold Schwarzenegger has replaced Donald Trump’s “You’re fired” catchphrase with “You’re terminated” – a reference to his line in The Terminator movie and its sequels.
Donald Trump tweeted on January 6: “Wow, the ratings are in and Arnold Schwarzenegger got “swamped” (or destroyed) by comparison to the ratings machine, DJT.
“So much for being a movie star – and that was season 1 compared to season 14. Now compare him to my season 1.”
According to Variety, more than 11 million people watched the opening episode of Celebrity Apprentice in 2008.
Referring to Republican Ohio governor John Kasich and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump added: “But who cares, he supported Kasich & Hillary.”
In return, Arnold Schwarzenegger wrote: “There’s nothing more important than the people’s work, @realDonaldTrump.”
The former California governor added: “I wish you the best of luck and I hope you’ll work for ALL of the American people as aggressively as you worked for your ratings.”
Donald Trump helped create The Apprentice and starred on it until 2015, when his political career took over.
The contestants on the current season, who compete to raise money for charity, include boxer Laila Ali, Boy George and Motley Crue singer Vince Neil.