Arnold Schwarzenegger announced he will be not be returning to Celebrity Apprentice next season, and blamed Donald Trump for the show’s decline in ratings.


Schwarzenegger told NBC of his decision on Friday and sent a statement to the Washington Post. “I loved every second of working with NBC and [creator] Mark Burnett,” he said. “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.”

The actor and former governor clarified what he meant by “baggage” with Empire magazine. “With Trump being involved in the show, people have a bad taste and don’t want to participate as a spectator or as a sponsor or in any other way support the show,” he explained. “It’s a very divisive period now, and I think this show got caught up in all that division.”

Apparently viewers boycotted the show when they realized that Trump was still on as an executive producer, despite NBC’s best efforts to promote the show. Schwarzenegger has been involved in a feud with the president since January, when Trump took to Twitter to blame the new host for the show’s decline, and also mocked him for voting against him in the campaign.

Schwarzenegger struck right back.

Then at the National Prayer Breakfast, Trump took the time to ask attendees to “pray for Arnold, if we can, for those ratings.” The Feb. 13 finale attracted just 3.45 million viewers, compared to the 6.1 million who watched Trump’s last season finale in 2015. It’s clear, though, that the ratings were already declining with Trump still in the pilot’s seat, down from 21 million viewers during the first season in 2004.

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