‘Apprentice’ Producer: Working With Trump ‘Was Like Making The Court Jester The King’

A TV producer who oversaw the first five seasons of President Trump’s reality TV show “The Apprentice” says those working behind the scenes often “struggled to make Trump seem coherent.”

In a new interview with The New Yorker, Katherine Walker said: “we cleaned it up so that he was his best self.”

“He wouldn’t read a script — he stumbled over the words and got the enunciation all wrong,” Walker said. “But off the cuff he delivered the kind of zesty banter that is the lifeblood of reality television.”

Walker did credit Trump with coining his own famous “You’re fired” catchphrase.




“I don’t think any of us could have known what this would become,” she said. “But Donald would not be president had it not been for that show.”

The New Yorker piece argues that Mark Burnett, the former executive producer of “The Apprentice,” helped reinvigorate his image as a successful business tycoon and paved Trump’s path to the presidency by ending a downward slope in his professional life.

Walker said Burnett acknowledged Trump was at a low point in his career, but he “sensed Trump’s potential for a comeback.”

Walker added that Trump often spoke in a derogatory manner about women, frequently commenting on their bodies.




Editor Jonathan Braun told the publication that Trump would fire contestants on the show on a whim, forcing editors to “reverse engineer” programs to make Trump’s decisions seem coherent.

Show producer Mark Burnett remarked, “We know each week who has been fired, and therefore, you’re editing in reverse.” Amid a series of firings and resignations in the Trump administration, he remarked, “I find it strangely validating to hear that they’re doing the same thing in the White House.”

“Most of us knew he was a fake,” Braun, who worked on six series of the show, told The New Yorker. “He had just gone through I don’t know how many bankruptcies. But we made him out to be the most important person in the world. It was like making the court jester the king.”