Marlee Matlin responds to allegations Donald Trump called her "retarded" during 'The Celebrity Apprentice'
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/14/2016
Marlee Matlin has addressed allegations Donald Trump called her "retarded" while filming The Celebrity Apprentice's fourth season.
Three staffers from the NBC reality show, who requested anonymity due to non-disclosure agreements, recently toldThe Daily Beast that Trump had treated the deaf contestant with disrespect during boardroom tapings and even once scribbled down in his notes, "Marlee, is she retarded??"
Matlin shared an image post Friday on Twitter with the following caption: "My response to recent media reports."
"Recent media reports have circulated that Donald Trump allegedly referred [to me] as 'retarded.' The term is abhorrent and should never be used. The fact that we are talking about this during a very important moment in American history has upset me deeply," Matlin wrote.
"I am Deaf. There are millions of Deaf and hard of hearing people like me, in the United States and around the world who face discrimination and misunderstanding like this on a daily basis. It is unacceptable."
Matlin finished as The Celebrity Apprentice'srunner-up that season, which aired in early 2011, behind winning country music star John Rich.
"So, what's my response?" Matlin continued in her Twitter statement. "It's not about insults or taking each other down. As a person who is Deaf, as a woman, as a mom, as a wife, as an actor, I have a voice. And I'm using that voice to make myself heard...and vote."
Matlin's fellow fourth-season The Celebrity Apprentice contestant, Survivor winner Richard Hatch, also recently shared his alleged observations in which Trump sexually harassed Matlin.
"Watching him in the boardroom making sexual comments to Marlee Matlin, to all of the women on The Apprentice, it was obvious that that's just a part of who he is," Hatch toldPeople.
"It was obvious and it was grotesque. It was blatant and it was frequent. He did it with Lisa Rinna; He did it with Marlee Matlin. He did it with whomever happened to be there at the time."
Hatch claimed Trump went "back and forth" with Matlin, trying to push her buttons.
"No matter how she responded, no matter how politely, he would push it a step further with comments about her looks, and how she was making him feel, and about what he thought of her, and how happy he would be to do something with her," Hatch said.
"It was a lot of innuendo, far beyond the norm. It was odd and weird, and people in the boardroom would look at one another, but he didn't care. [Matlin] was with her interpreter, [Jack Jason], and I thought, 'Gosh, I wonder if he's comfortable with this?'"
Hatch even claimed that Trump made such remarks in front of his daughter Ivanka Trump, who has stood by her father since the start of his presidential campaign.
"That was not just uncomfortable for me. It was weird. I was fascinated as a people watcher to think what could possibly be going on in that woman's mind. He didn't care that she was there; he didn't seem afraid that she would hold him accountable or say anything about his boorish behavior," Hatch explained to the magazine.
"None of that happened. He was just that way, and it didn't matter to him one bit that his daughter was listening in."
Trump's press secretary, Hope Hicks, has denied all of the allegations above.
"Marlee Matlin is such a nice person, and Mr. Trump has great respect for her, but this report is completely false," Hicks said in a statement to People. "Just take a look at Richard Hatch's record, or lack thereof."
Matlin also competed on the sixth season of Dancing with the Stars and was the sixth celebrity eliminated.