Holly Robinson Peete: Trump Called Me the ‘N-Word’
The actress confirmed rumors about Trump’s comments on the set of “Celebrity Apprentice.”
Less than a month ago, during the final general election debate, President Donald Trump declared, “I’m the least racist person in this room.” Even putting aside the fact that he was speaking to NBC News’ Kristen Welker, a Black woman, the statement was laughable.
From taking out a full-page ad calling for the execution of the later exonerated “Central Park Five” to launching his presidential campaign by calling Mexican immigrants rapists and murderers, Trump’s racism has never been a secret. Over the past several years, rumors have circulated that he would freely use the “N-word” during his time as host of The Celebrity Apprentice (in addition to calling contestant Lil Jon an “Uncle Tom”). Trump would always deny them and even former staffers disputed that an alleged tape exists.
Now, a former contestant on that show is speaking out for the first time about being the target of the current president’s racial slurs.
During an appearance on SiriusXM Urban View’s The Karen Hunter Show on Tuesday, actress Holly Robinson Peete told the story of what it was like to find out her race prevented her from winning season three of Trump’s reality show.
Peete, best known for her roles on 21 Jump Street and Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper, said she never would have gone on the show if it had been after Trump’s “birther” attacks on President Barack Obama. Before agreeing to appear, she asked producer Mark Burnett, “You’re not going to try to make me the new Omarosa, make me the mean Black lady or anything, are you?” referring to The Apprentice villain who later ended up secretly recording Trump in his own White House.
“I found him to be kind of piggish and bullish and stuff,” she said of Trump, “but I didn't find him to be just this—who he is now, I did not see that.” It wasn’t until after she “lost” to Bret Michaels in the season finale that she says she found out how Trump was talking about her behind her back.
“Shortly after the finale, rumors started going around that he had tossed out an ‘N-word’ referring to me,” she continued. “When the producer told me when it happened, during the finale, I remember the moment. I wasn’t in earshot, but I could see them deciding between me and Bret Michaels.”
She recalled seeing Trump “talking with producers and they’re really animated and that was when I heard that he said, ‘They want the ‘N-word’ to win.’ Because I guess the network wanted me to win or me to be chosen and Trump wanted Bret.”
This specific rumor has been around for some time, with comedian Noel Casler, who worked as a talent wrangler on Celebrity Apprentice, sharing it on Twitter last year.
“How could anybody believe that he wouldn’t say something like that?” Peete asked later in the interview. “I firmly believe he probably uses that language all the time. And then by the time it sort of started resurfacing, I didn’t even really address it too much because I felt like, what difference is it going to make? People have accepted the things that he said that are so vile about so many other people, what difference is it going to make if he said that about me?”