NEW YORK: Actor and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will replace Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump as host of “The Celebrity Apprentice,” broadcaster NBC said.
The network severed its ties with Trump in late June, declining to broadcast the Miss USA and Miss Universe beauty pageants which he and NBC co-owned, due to his controversial comments on Mexican immigrants.
However, Trump had already said he would be leaving “The Celebrity Apprentice” to pursue his political career several weeks prior.
The program is a variation of its predecessor “The Apprentice,” and places well-known figures in competitions that test their business acumen and entrepreneurship, all the while helping raise money for charity.
“Congrats to my friend @Schwarzenegger who is doing next season’s Celebrity Apprentice. He’ll be great & will raise lots of $ for charity,” Trump posted on Twitter, following NBC’s announcement.
“Arnold Schwarzenegger is the epitome of a global brand in entertainment and business, and his accomplishments in the political arena speak for themselves,” said Paul Telegdy, president of NBC’s alternative and late-night programming.
On Friday, Trump announced he had bought NBC’s share in the Miss Universe pageant, becoming the sole owner.