Donald Trump Body-Shames 'The Apprentice' Contestant's Skin

October 10th 2016

Lucy Tiven

A transcript of allegedly unaired footage from an episode in the ninth season of "The Apprentice," obtained by the Huffington Post, reveals yet another instance of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump scrutinizing a woman's appearance.


Included in the transcript is a scene in which Trump allegedly disparages the appearance of country star Emily West and says her skin is unattractive.

West appeared in the 2010 "Celebrity Apprentice" episode “Beauty and Brains,” in which contestants coached country music performers on their appearance, how to promote themselves, and how interact with the press, according to Death and Taxes Magazine.

One team — headed by pop-star Cyndi Lauper — coached West, a singer-songwriter from Nashville. The opposing team managed country musician Luke Bryan. Lauper’s team won the episode, and West later was featured on “America’s Got Talent,” the report adds.

The scene described in Monday's report did not make it on the air, but Lauper confirmed the veracity of the transcript to the Huffington Post. Lauper, for her part, is a supporter of Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

From the Huffington Post:

“During the boardroom session that decided which team did the better job transforming its artist, Trump turned the conversation sharply ― and at times, uncomfortably ― to West’s physical appearance, specifically her skin.

"'I assume you’re gonna leave this off, don’t put this shit on the show, you know. But her skin, her skin sucks, okay?' he says, according to the transcript. 'I mean her skin, she needs some serious fuckin’ dermatology.'"

At another point in the transcript, Trump allegedly compares West's looks unfavorably to a male contestant.

From the Huffington Post:

"'Personally, I am, as you probably heard, not a gay man, but I think he’s better looking that [sic] Emily okay?” Trump said of [Luke] Bryan at one point.

"Trump also asked Trace Adkins, the country music star who served as a guest judge on the show, what he thought about brochures that each team produced.

"'Well I um, I, I think the one they did for Emily is a little more polished looking,' Adkins said.

"'You’re obviously not a skin man,' Trump said. He later reiterated the point, pounded the table and said, 'which is okay.' He added, 'I wish I wasn’t.'"

Though its unclear if West actually suffered from a skin condition, skin conditions are incredibly common – particularly acne, which impacts about 85 percent of people ages 12 to 24, the American Academy of Dermatology explains.

Acne and other skin conditions have also been linked to depression and low self-esteem, CNN reports.


The transcripts arrive days after the release of a 2005 recording of Trump speaking with NBC's Billy Bush about women's bodies in predatory, threatening terms.

Over the weekend, former “Apprentice” producer Bill Pruitt responded to the story on Twitter and asserted that Trump said even more offensive things on set.

BuzzFeed reported on Saturday that an anonymous source close to “Apprentice” executive producer and MGM president Mark Burnett claims Burnett threatened staff members over leaks. He allegedly said they would face lawsuits if they released footage from the show.

Burnett and MGM denied these claims. On Monday afternoon they released the following statement to Variety:

“MGM owns Mark Burnett’s production company and ‘The Apprentice’ is one of its properties. Despite reports to the contrary, Mark Burnett does not have the ability nor the right to release footage or other material from ‘The Apprentice.’ Various contractual and legal requirements also restrict MGM’s ability to release such material. The recent claims that Mark Burnett has threatened anyone with litigation if they were to leak such material are completely and unequivocally false. To be clear, as previously reported in the press, which Mark Burnett has confirmed, he has consistently supported Democratic campaigns.”

BuzzFeed's report and Pruitt's viral tweet ignited a storm of speculation about the footage, and they inspired a GoFundMe campaign to pay for a potential whistleblower's legal fees.

West told the Huffington Post she had not met Trump, as their scenes were filmed separately.

ATTN: reached out to the Trump campaign for comment and will update this post if we receive a response.

You can read the full report on the Huffington Post.

UPDATE 10/11/2016 at 11:00 a.m. PDT: This story, first published 10/10/2016, was updated to include a statement from "The Apprentice” executive producer and MGM president Mark Burnett.