Arnold Schwarzenegger Quits ‘Celebrity Apprentice’

Host Arnold Schwarzenegger poses after a panel for “The New Celebrity Apprentice” in Universal City, California, December 9, 2016. (REUTERS/Danny Moloshok)

Arnold Schwarzenegger said he won’t return to The New Celebrity Apprentice, throwing shade at executive producer — and president — Donald Trump in the process.

In an interview and a statement, the former California governor said he’s done after one season hosting Apprentice, which he joined after Trump’s presidential ambitions precluded his continuing role. (Trump’s final season ended two years ago).

Schwarzenegger’s announcement may be a TV version of a political tactic, getting ahead of a story, since he (and perhaps the show) weren’t likely to return anyway based on the NBC reality show’s low ratings. It averaged 4.9 million viewers this season, which ended last month.

In a statement, Schwarzenegger said, “I loved every second of working with NBC and Mark Burnett. Everyone — from the celebrities to the crew to the marketing department — was a straight 10, and I would absolutely work with all of them again on a show that doesn’t have this baggage.”

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SOURCE: USA Today, Bill Keveney