President-elect Donald Trump has denied that he will work on the new series of Celebrity Apprentice after taking office.
It had been reported that Donald Trump would continue to be an executive producer of the reality show he helped create.
Donald Trump tweeted on December 10 that he would “devote zero time” to the new series, which will be hosted by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
However, the president-elect did reaffirm that he has a “big stake” in the show.
Donald Trump fronted Celebrity Apprentice, which is owned by MGM and aired by NBC, until 2015, when his political career took over.
There have been concerns about a conflict of interest because of The Apprentice‘s advertising deals and because NBC also runs various news productions.
Donald Trump tweeted, referring to the Apprentice‘s creator, TV producer Mark Burnett: “I have NOTHING to do with The Apprentice except for fact that I conceived it with Mark B & have a big stake in it. Will devote ZERO TIME!”
Image source NBC
He described the reports that he would be working on the show during his presidency as “fake news”.
Donald Trump will be sworn in as the United States president on January 20, 18 days after the new series begins.
Variety magazine, which first reported the story, had claimed Donald Trump would be paid at least “in the low five-figures” per episode. MGM declined to comment on the financial arrangements.
Some observers have questioned whether the connection could affect the reporting on Donald Trump by NBC’s news division.
In June 2015, NBC said it had ended its business relationship with Donald Trump because of “derogatory statements” he made about immigrants during his presidential campaign.
However, The Apprentice new series was recorded in February, before NBC severed its ties with Donald Trump and before his election.
His supporters have defended him, comparing his Apprentice credit to royalties received by President Barack Obama from his books.
Donald Trump is due to hold a news conference next week outlining how he plans to leave his business “in total in order to fully focus on running the country”.
The new series of Celebrity Apprentice features stars including Boy George, Motley Crue frontman Vince Neil and Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi.
NBC has ruled out the possibility of Donald Trump returning to host The Celebrity Apprentice.
Bob Greenblatt, NBC’s entertainment chairman, said the show will not be back next season, but will return in the future with a new host.
NBC cut ties with the republican presidential candidate in June over comments he made about immigrants.
Donald Trump has hosted The Celebrity Apprentice since 2010.
Before that he hosted The Apprentice from 2003.
In June, NBC cancelled its broadcasts of Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants that are co-owned by Donald Trump.
Earlier that month, Donald Trump accused Mexicans of adding drugs and crime to the US as he announced he was seeking the Republican presidential nomination.
“They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists,” he said.
Donald Trump also pledged to build a “great wall” on the US border with Mexico and insisted it would be paid for by Mexicans.
He later insisted he was criticizing US lawmakers, not Mexican people.
NBC faced pressure from Hispanic advocacy groups to drop Donald Trump’s shows and a petition gathered more than 200,000 signatures.
Upon confirming that Donald Trump would not return as The Celebrity Apprentice host, Bob Greenblatt said he was “a lovely guy and “very much a collaborator and worked with us closely on Celebrity Apprentice”.
“We weren’t in any sort of adversarial position,” he added.
Bob Greenblatt said that a number of people have expressed interest in taking over from Donald Trump and they would be open to a woman taking over.
Talk show host Leeza Gibbons won the most recent 7th edition of The Celebrity Apprentice in February.
Donald Trump is the frontrunner in the Republican race for US president in recent weeks, ahead of Jeb Bush and Scott Walker in the opinion polls.