On Monday night, Page Six reported that NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt—whose division produced Trump’s Apprentice series since before Greenblatt joined in 2011—had taken to Facebook to vent about the former reality-TV star and current Republican presidential nominee. (Last year, NBC severed ties with the real-estate mogul in large part over his Mexican-rapists comments.)
“The sad state of affairs thanks to a pompous businessman turned reality-TV star (whose show consistently ran LAST in its time period, by the way) who thinks speaking his mind is refreshing,” Greenblatt posted. “It’s actually corrosive and toxic because his ‘mind’ is so demented; and his effect will unfortunately linger long after he’s been told to get off the stage.”
Greenblatt's Facebook post was a personal response to a recent New York Times op-ed penned by Nicholas Kristof that shows how "all across America…Donald Trump is mainstreaming hate." The column touches on bullying in schools, and recounts a moment during a high-school physics class in Forest Grove, Oregon, in which a "group of white students suddenly began jeering at their Latino classmates and chanting: 'Build a wall! Build a wall!'" (Greenblatt, who is the first openly gay broadcast TV chairman, has long been active in pro-LGBT advocacy, as well as in anti-bullying efforts.)
When reached by Page Six, an NBC rep simply told the publication that “Bob’s Facebook page is not public.”
Publicly, however, Greenblatt’s relationship with Trump has been decidedly touch-and-go ever since the real-estate mogul launched his 2016 White House run. It’s no surprise that the NBC Entertainment boss would find Trump’s rhetoric and politics repellent. Greenblatt is a liberal and has for years donated generously to Democratic candidates including John Edwards, Mark Takano, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton.
But his public statements on Trump have been far more diplomatic than his Facebook update, even though he and his network have at times been sarcastically dinged by The Donald. Earlier this year, Greenblatt went as far as to call Trump “one of the most important political figures of our time.”
“If we were in the business of never having anyone guest on the network that had views that were different than our views, we would be out of business,” Greenblatt said in January, defending the decision to allow Trump to host Saturday Night Live and again appear on NBC.
“We had a couple businesses that we were doing with him—Apprentice and the pageants—we got out of both of those businesses,” he continued. “That was June or July when most of us thought he would be sort of waltzing into the background of the political arena, and lo and behold, he’s the frontrunner and the poll numbers are sort of astounding and he’s everywhere…every news show, morning show, night show, cable show…I think that reconciles quite easily with we’re not in business with him, but love it or not, he’s one of the most important political figures of our time and he’s on our shows.”
So, Greenblatt and Trump have had their ups and their downs. But in light of this week’s Page Six story, it is highly unlikely Trump will be publicly praising his former NBC boss as “GREAT!” ever again.
The Trump campaign did not respond to The Daily Beast’s request for comment on this story.