Jeff Bezos and Amazon may own all of The Apprentice US with Donald Trump when MGM takeover is approved

Jeff Bezos and Amazon may own all of The Apprentice US with Donald Trump when MGM takeover is approved
Numerous individuals involved in the show have claimed the former president used racist and other offensive language during filming

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos now owns MGM after a $8.45bn deal, which means he may also have all of the footage from The Apprentice.

The Late Show host Steven Colbert suggested Mr Bezos release outtake footage from the reality TV show in order to shame former President Donald Trump, who hosted the show.

“Why would one of the world’s richest men pay almost twice the value for a struggling movie studio that recently went bankrupt? Well it could be that Jeff Bezos has an ongoing feud with the former president Genghis Con,” Colbert said. “Guess what? All the outtakes from The Apprentice are owned by MGM. Holy mother of DVD extras! The private footage of a TV billionaire is going to belong to an actual billionaire.”

It is unclear what footage would turn Mr Trump’s base against him, but it is also unclear what footage exists in the outtakes from the programme.

However, it is also unclear whether Mr Bezos would actually obtain the footage. Producer Mark Burnett and MGM have suggested that there are other issues at play that could prevent Mr Bezos from obtaining the outtakes.

In the weeks before the 2016 election, MGM and Mr Burnett released a joint statement saying the producer could not release the footage.

“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 statement said.

Actor Tom Arnold claims to have seen a compilation of clips from the show’s outtakes, which included Mr Trump using racist language and calling his son Eric a “retard.”

“I’ve seen a compilation tape that my buddy shared with me. He says the n-word, he says, he calls Eric the r-word,” Mr Arnold claimed on a 2018 podcast episode.

A New York Times investigation into Mr Trump’s taxes found that the former president owned a 50 per cent stake in the show, though it is unclear if that is still the case.

MGM bought Mr Burnett’s production company in 2014, but there may be carve-outs involved that would prevent the release of any footage without Mr Trump’s approval if he does still control half the show.

Bill Pruitt, a producer on The Apprentice, tweeted out that there was much worse than Mr Trump’s “grab them by the p****” comment he was recorded making to Billy Bush and which became an explosive issue shortly before the 2016 election.

“As a producer on seasons 1 & 2 of #theapprentice I assure you: when it comes to the #trumptapes there are far worse. #justthebegininng,” he wrote.

Omarosa Manigault Newman, a contestant on The Apprentice who worked as an aide for Mr Trump before being fired in 2017, also claimed she heard her former boss use racist language off camera while he was filming the show.