Donald Trump tells Martha to "take responsibility" for 'Apprentice' flop
By Reality TV World staff, 02/20/2006
Martha Stewart's failed The Apprentice spin-off has been swept into the dustbin of television history, but that isn't stopping Stewart and original Apprentice star Donald Trump from continuing to trade verbal barbs about the show in the press.
Unlike the last round, Stewart began the latest round of media sparring, telling Newsweek in an interview published Monday that she blames Trump's desire to keep his own Apprentice series airing alongside her spinoff for her show's ratings failure. Trump (who ironically blamed Stewart for his own show's ratings problems during last fall's squabbles) then wasted no time firing back, admonishing Stewart for being unwilling to "take responsibility" for her show's failure.
"If I'd had my druthers, there would have been only one Apprentice on the air at one time," Stewart told Newsweek. "The franchise, I think, should only be one show. It shouldn't be two shows."
The domestic diva also repeated her previous comments that she never expected NBC to air her Apprentice series alongside another Trump edition (a claim that was supported by NBC's initial comments about the series) and took things one step further this time around, alleging that Trump was behind NBC's decision to air both editions at the same time.
"I think having two Apprentices was as unfair to him as it was unfair to me. It should have been one Apprentice," said Stewart. "But Donald really wanted to stay on. So thatís what happened."
The Donald fired back at Stewart immediately. "I wish she would be able to take responsibility for her failure," Trump told The Associated Press, explaining that Stewart's show didn't have the right tone or demeanor.
While Stewart's comments about her belief that she'd be replacing Trump were consistent with her earlier media comments, another part of her interview was not. "We picked a good candidate," Stewart gushed to Newsweek about The Apprentice: Martha Stewart winnerDawna Stone. "She's very busy at work here at Martha Stewart Living."
The comments represent a sharp contrast from Stewart's December comments about her show's final three candidates. "Yeah, we're getting close to which of those inappropriate contestants we are actually going to have to hire," Stewart told BusinessWeek during a December appearance at one of the magazine's "Captains of Industry" events. "I can't believe people behave like that. They're exhibitionists and opportunists, those kids."
Likewise, Trump's comments that Stewart should "take responsibility" for her own show's failure were also inconsistent with his previous comments about his own show's ongoing ratings slide. "I think it probably hurt mine and I sort of predicted that it would, because there was a lot of confusion in the world," Trump told ABC Radio during a November interview. Apparently "Do as I say, not as I do" is another Trump business lesson.