A story published by the Associated Press yesterday sounds all too familiar. The piece quotes former contestants and employees of Donald Trump’s NBC show The Apprentice on how he treated women on set. Some of those interviewed recall Trump commenting on the bodies of female contestants and crew members, assessing their breast size, and stating which ones he’d like to sleep with.
One former crew member recalled an exchange in the show’s “boardroom” in which Trump asked male contestants whether they would sleep with a particular female contestant before stating that he would do so.
The woman he was referring to, meanwhile, “[was] shrinking in her seat.”
The Trump campaign issued a general denial of the story’s claims—and it should be noted that some of those interviewed by the AP said Trump was professional or they considered his comments complimentary or “playful banter.” NBC steered questions to the show’s executive producer, whose PR firm didn’t respond to requests seeking comment.
Nevertheless, the allegations against Trump are reminiscent of those made against former Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes (reportedly now a Trump campaign advisor who’s also maintained his innocence) in that they illustrate the kind of culture that can develop when sexist attitudes—particularly those held by powerful male bosses—go unchecked.
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