I’m not ashamed to admit that watching The Apprentice is one of my guilty pleasures. While I actually prefer the regular, non-celebrity version, watching the Celebrity Apprentice is certainly an eye opener. Where else can you see the carefully crafted masks of B, C, D list celebrities, slip and reveal the flawed, vulnerable, and sometimes very ugly faces of the once exalted, exposed.
Without Celebrity Apprentice, how we would have known that Meatloaf is a major, teary-eyed drama queen? Or that Dionne Warwick is lazy and fouled mouthed? Or that Lou Ferrigno is a one-note tune with anger management issues? Or that Rob Blagojevich doesn’t know how to email? But, as much as I enjoy watching the self marketing master, Donald Trump and his surprisingly warm and witty children each week, this week revealed a truth that I had naively believed had died.
Apparently, there is no sin greater than a woman crying in the boardroom.
A few weeks ago, Arsenio Hall, he of “whoop whoop” fame, destroyed his reputation as a calm, cool and collected cat by losing it with cast member Aubrey O’Day. With cameras rolling, he blasted O’Day as a “slut,” a “c**t,” a “bitch,” a “whore,” a “skank ass,” and said that he would “something something all over her face.” Behind the scenes, word is that Hall became so hysterical and violent that security had to be called. All this because Hall and O’Day tangled over who came up with a winning idea. That’s right…they were the WINNING team.
Despite the fact that episodes are broadcast weekly, the Celebrity Apprentice Show films three episodes per week. The cast members are up at 4:30am and film all week long. This means that after Hall’s outburst and threats, the cast and crew had to go right back to filming with him. The following week, when the show aired again, I was truly shocked to see Arsenio Hall, sheepish and blaming O’Day for HIS outburst, was still on the show.
Were The Donald’s hands tied? Did some contractual verbiage prevent him from kicking Arsenio Hall’s back side to the curb? I couldn’t believe that a man as mindful of his reputation as THE business tycoon and all around Capitalist personality, Donald Trump, would condone this type of behavior, even in his silence.
But for whatever reason, there Hall was.
Last night, Trump had the opportunity to bump any contestant irrespective of winning teams and money raised. I expected him to redeem himself and get rid of the man who would so basely attack a fellow cast member. But that didn’t happen. In fact, The Donald was rather quiet on the entire situation. Trump didn’t reference the fact that as a potential employer, he and his company would be held legally liable for allowing an employee to create such a hostile workplace. He didn’t explain that threatening to facially rape a co-worker is at best, inappropriate. He didn’t even acknowledge that for most women in America, the “c word” is still the most emotionally charged, offensive word around.
Instead, when it came time to rid the show of a contestant, The Donald didn’t focus on behavior or professional conduct. He didn’t refer the person who raised the least amount of money or even who lost the most tasks. Instead, Donald Trump saved the misogynist and focused on that old chestnut, women shouldn’t be in the boardroom because they are too emotional and sometimes cry.
Lisa Lampanelli, the acerbic, vulgar, blue comedian could certainly have been sent packing for her own outbursts. But when Trump fired her, he didn’t mention her attacks on fellow cast member, Dayanna Mendez, who Lampanelli called a “dumb bitch.” Instead, he chastised her for “inappropriately” shedding tears of anger in a previous week’s boardroom battle.
Forget the fact that meatloaf blathered all through last season and was applauded for being “sensitive.” Forget that over 8 million businesses in the US are owned by women, so apparently our propensity to cry isn’t preventing the cash from flowing.
In that one move, The Donald, watched by millions of people, reinforced that in corporate America, when it comes down to it, it’s ok to call a woman a cunt, but she better not cry about it.