Gloria Allred and groups including the National Organization for Women and California Democratic Party Women’s Caucus plan to hand-deliver an open letter to studio brass at MGM headquarters today urging them to release footage from The Apprentice. They believe the release of tapes from the reality show once fronted by Donald Trump is a civic duty and will hold a news conference at 2 PM PT outside the studio’s Beverly Hills building to urge producer Mark Burnett and MGM to do so.
GOP White House nominee Trump is in hot water over a lewd conversation between him and now-suspended Today co-host Billy Bush that was caught on tape in 2005, when Trump starred on The Apprentice and Bush was on Access Hollywood. Allred and the women’s groups say Trump has made a campaign issue of his attitudes about women, African-Americans, Latinos, and other marginalized groups by his own statements and policy proposals and say voters should hear what the candidate says about those issues behind the scenes.
Apprentice creator and EP Burnett and MGM said Monday that neither is able to release the footage. “Mark Burnett does not have the ability nor the right to release footage or other material from The Apprentice,” the producer and studio said in a joint statement. “Various contractual and legal requirements also restrict MGM’s ability to release such material.” Allred and the groups say compelling public interest should override those confidentiality clauses.
In tape released Friday by the Washington Post, Trump is heard explaining to Bush that, among other things, when you’re famous enough, you can grab a woman by her genitals.