"Look, he's Uncle Tom!" Donald Trump reportedly said about Celebrity Apprentice contestant Lil Jon after the rapper and producer dressed as Uncle Sam as part of a promotional stunt for the show. Trump, apparently familiar with the phrase but not the fact that it's a slur, had to be repeatedly chastened by reporters on set for openly calling Lil Jon a black man who is subservient to white people, according to Apprentice employees who spoke to the Daily Beast. "He just couldn’t grasp that it was offensive… When [Trump] decides he wants to do something, that’s his way," one said.
Lil Jon confirmed the Beast's report in a statement released Friday evening. "I can't say if he knew what he was actually saying or not," Lil Jon wrote, but added that Trump stopped calling him an Uncle Tom once he explained "its offensiveness" to him. (The Trump campaign denied the allegations.)
According to the Daily Beast, matters were made worse when Arsenio Hall guest starred for an episode that season and immediately let producers know he was angry with Trump for using the term so cavalierly.
This is just one of the many offensive comments that have aired in recent weeks from Trump's 13 seasons as host of The Apprentice. There have been allegations of him calling Marlee Matlin, a deaf Oscar-winning actress, "retarded" and referring to Khloe Kardashian as a "piglet" and asked why the show couldn't have "the hot one" (Kim). On Friday, a former Apprentice contestant named Summer Zervos joined the litany of women accusing Donald Trump of sexual harassment or abuse.
Sam Stecklow is the Weekend Editor for Fusion.