'Apprentice 2' contestant Jennifer Crisafulli loses real-world job due to show remarks
By Reality TV World staff, 10/04/2004
Last week wasn't a good week for The Apprentice 2 contestant Jennifer Crisafulli. After getting fired by Donald Trump during Wednesday's broadcast of the fourth episode of the competition that was filmed this past spring, her real-life New York employer, real estate agency Prudential Douglas Elliman, announced that it was also canning her as a result of her behavior on the program.
During Apprentice 2's fourth episode broadcast, Jennifer made comments that some perceived to be anti-Semitic, telling her teammates that the reason they lost the episode's restaurant opening task was because of "those two old Jewish fat ladies. Really. They were like the pinnacle of the New York jaded old bags."
Whether the comments were anti-Semitic or not might be subject to debate by viewers, however in the opinion of her employer, they were grounds for her dismissal. "We do not intend to have an individual in our organization who subscribes to this point of view," Steven James, Elliman's senior vice president and executive director of sales, told the Albany Times Union, Jennifer's hometown paper. "They are not wanted. They are not needed," added Elliman, while also being careful to not use the word "fired," citing legal reasons. Instead, the firm reportedly asked for Jennifer's resignation.
According to Elliman, the firm received several calls protesting Jennifer's remarks after the episode aired. When reached for comment by the Times Union, Jennifer told the paper that "I'm so upset, I mean, my career is gone" and blamed "jealous brokers" for the complaint calls. "I'm so hurt by it all," she told the New York Post, adding that "my life has just made a 180-degree turnaround -- I'm in shock. Of course, I apologize to anyone who was offended."
On Thursday afternoon, the firm sent out a company-wide email stating that "Douglas Elliman does not share the views of Jennifer Crisafulli nor condone her behavior on The Apprentice." "We understand that many of you are upset by her comments, as are we, so please know that we are dealing with the situation in a timely fashion and in a way that we believe will meet with your satisfaction," stated the email.
After seeing the fourth episode broadcast, Jennifer, who noted she has Jewish relatives, told her hometown paper that "I feel terrible about this. I hope people don't think about me in the wrong way." Added Elliman's James, "She had everything going for her and she's blown it. It was bad, bad, bad, bad judgment."
In a comment to the New York Post, Donald Trump said he wasn't aware of Jennifer's comments when he made the decision to fire her. Jennifer's mother, Dale Crisafulli, told the Syracuse Post-Standard that her daughter meant nothing by the remarks. "She didn't mean a thing by it. She has a brother and a sister that are Jewish," she said. According to her mother, Jennifer was raised Catholic but has half-siblings who are Jewish and "identifies with many backgrounds." "She just feels free enough to be able to say what's in her head," Dale Crisafulli told the paper. "I just wish people would be fair and not be judgmental." "All of my Jewish friends and relatives are calling and saying 'I can't believe they're doing that to her.'"
But according to one Elliman insider, Jennifer's fourth episode comments were simply the straw that broke the camel's back. "It wasn't just the remark... It was how bad she looked in general," a Elliman source told The Post. Jennifer continues to insist her comments had no anti-Semitic intentions. "I have never judged people by their religion, skin or gender," she told the paper. "If I am guilty of anything, it is using language that has been misinterpreted."
For their part, in a decision reminiscent of The Apprentice's "it's not personal, it's just business" mantra, Elliman executives told the paper that "It was clear that we had to get rid of her. She wasn't any good to us or herself in this business. As such, she is no longer associated with the company."
Jennifer had reportedly been with the firm since January.