New Book Reveals Donald Trump’s Staggering The Apprentice Salary Demand, and His Comparisons to Friends

June 7, 2024 - Movies


  • Donald Trump demanded $6 million per episode for
    The Apprentice
    , comparing himself to the cast of
  • Ramin Setoodeh’s new book reveals Trump’s fantastical demands and inaccurate statements about his worth.
  • A new film starring Sebastian Stan explores Trump’s early career and could spark legal battles to stop its release in the U.S.

Donald Trump’s way with numbers became news headlines in recent weeks thanks to his hush-money trail, which ended with the former star of The Apprentice being found guilty of 34 counts of falsifying business records. According to details revealed in a new book focusing on the former president, his fantastical ideas of how to deal with money were also present when he demanded $6 million per episode to appear in the second season of his reality TV show, with a direct comparison to the salaries of the cast of Friends.

Ramin Setoodeh’s upcoming book, Apprentice in Wonderland: How Donald Trump and Mark Burnett Took America Through the Looking Glass, is an unprecedented look into the world of Trump, based around numerous interviews conducted throughout 2023. As seems to be normal, there were many statements made by Trump that were not quite as accurate as they could be, and these are clarified in the book. As per Vanity Fair, one interview saw Trump sharing his incredulous reasoning for demanding 24-times the $25,000 he earned for the inaugural season of The Apprentice, because he believed he was worth the same as the main cast of Friends combined. Trump is quoted as saying:

“Friends had six people. They’re getting $1 million an episode each. That’s $6 million. So if they’re getting $6 million, and I have higher ratings than they do—because this is the end of Friends, and they were fading out—I said, ‘You should pay me $6 million an episode.’ ”

Of course, Trump’s ludicrous request was turned down by NBC, and then-NBCUniversal CEO Jeff Zucker reportedly told Trump that they would simply replace him with someone else they had lined up. Trump went on to note that he believed that “the deal was dead,” as Zucker and his team “went nuts” and walked out on their meeting. However, Zucker contacted him the following day to shake on a sum that, in Trump’s words, was “a fortune.” While he would go on to declare that he made over $500 million in total from his several years on The Apprentice, including its celebrity spin-off series, official records put this figure more in the area of $214 million.

Donald Trump is the Focus of New Sebastian Stan Movie, The Apprentice

Mongrel Media/StudioCanal/Kinematics

While the real Donald Trump’s future in either politics or entertainment is on shaky ground right now, a new film about the TV personality and opinionated social-media lover has been making waves following its recent debut at the Cannes Film Festival. Starring Sebastian Stan as a young version of Trump, the biographical feature explores Trump’s early career and his relationship with New York City prosecutor, Roy Cohn.



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As the film attempted to secure distributors around the world, Trump’s lawyers were busy attempting to stop the movie being released in the U.S., calling it a “concoction of lies” that they will pursue legally if its release goes ahead. Their cease-and-desist letter reportedly read:

“The movie presents itself as a factual biography of Mr. Trump, yet nothing could be further from the truth. It is a concoction of lies that repeatedly defames President Trump and constitutes direct foreign interference in America’s elections. If you do not immediately cease and desist all distribution and marketing of this libelous farce, we will be forced to pursue all appropriate legal remedies.”

So far, there has been no sign that the filmmakers or studio intend to comply with the request, and the movie became the subject of fierce competition when it hit the Cannes market. The Apprentice is currently awaiting a U.S. distributor, while StudioCanal has acquired UK and Irish distribution rights.

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