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Are Donald Trump’s Rumored ‘Apprentice’ Tapes Now Owned By Jeff Bezos?

Jeff Bezos is paying up for MGM, and while he’s getting an enviable catalogue, there may be other factors that played into this major Hollywood acquisition. Bezos’ company, Amazon, has acquired the historic MGM Studios for nearly $9 billion, The Hollywood Reporter reports, making Bezos the owner of classic titles like the James Bond film series and The Wizard of Oz — but also an extensive collection of reality shows that includes The Apprentice, the series Donald Trump launched in 2004.

Now that The Apprentice has landed in Bezos’ hands, it could mean the release of the oft-rumored Apprentice outtakes, which have never been shared publicly but allegedly contain footage of Trump using questionable language. All of the footage from the long-running reality show is property of producer Mark Burnett’s former production company One Three Media, which was acquired by MGM in 2014. But now that the studio has been acquired by Amazon, does this mean that Bezos could finally share the alleged footage, escalating his years-long feud with Trump?

Matt Belloni, former editorial director of THR and current aspiring email newsletter entrepreneur, was the first to advance the theory.

While the outtakes have been squirreled away under lock and key for years, actor Tom Arnold alleges they include footage of the former president casually tossing around some vulgar language. “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,” said on a 2018 episode of the Shoot This Now podcast.

Two years earlier in 2016, Arnold claimed on The Dori Monson Show that the outtakes feature Trump “sitting in that chair saying the n-word, saying the c-word … He says every bad thing ever. Every dirty, every offensive, racist thing ever.”

Not long after Trump’s Access Hollywood tape with Billy Bush was released in 2016, a former producer on the show named Bill Pruitt suggested Trump’s vulgar language in the clip — which included the infamous line “Grab ’em by the pussy” — wasn’t an isolated incident. “As a producer on seasons 1 & 2 of #theapprentice I assure you: when it comes to the #trumptapes there are far worse. #justthebegininng,” he tweeted in October 2016.

And even those in Trump’s inner circle have discussed his uncouth language on the set of The Apprentice. Omarosa Manigault Newman, an Apprentice contestant who worked as an aide to Trump before being fired in 2017, claimed Trump used a racial slur off-camera during his time on The Apprentice.

Before the Amazon/MGM deal was confirmed this morning, Stephen Colbert cracked a joke about the acquisition on The Late Show. Speaking about the potential of this acquisition, Colbert suggested Trump’s Apprentice outtakes could be “the most racist thing in the MGM catalog ― other than Gone With The Wind.”

However, it is still unclear whether or not these rumored tapes were part of MGM’s library, or if they are still controlled by Apprentice creator and longtime Trump crony Mark Burnett under some sort of “carve-out” arrangement.

Additionally, veteran media reporter and author Bill Carter tweeted this morning that “Burnett has always made the point that Trump owns a half stake and nothing can be released without his ok.”

Either way, the retrieval of these rumored tapes sounds like a mission suitable for one individual with a very particular set of skills, one who is now under the employ of Jeff Bezos: James Bond.