Another day, another headline about Donald Trump’s controversial behaviour.
In the latest furore regarding the Republican candidate’s treatment of women, an investigation by a major news agency has suggested that during his years as host of The Apprentice, Mr Trump repeatedly demeaned female participants with sexist language.
Former insiders on the hit show, said the 70-year-old rated female contestants by the size of their breasts and talked about which ones he wished to have sex with. Mr Trump asked male contestants whether they would sleep with a particular female contestant, the Associated Press said.
The news agency said it interviewed 20 people, including former crew members, editors and contestants, who described the inappropriate behaviour by Mr Trump.
During one season, the man now competing for the White House called for female contestants to wear shorter dresses that also showed more cleavage, according to contestant Gene Folkes. Several cast members said Mr Trump had one female contestant twirl before him so he could ogle her figure.
The Trump campaign has denied the claims.
“These outlandish, unsubstantiated, and totally false claims fabricated by publicity hungry, opportunistic, disgruntled former employees, have no merit whatsoever,” said Hope Hicks, Mr Trump’s campaign spokeswoman.
“The Apprentice was one of the most successful prime-time television shows of all time and employed hundreds of people over many years, many of whom support Mr Trump’s candidacy.”
Mr Trump’s crass and frequently offensive comments about women have been a recurring theme of his bid for the presidency. Last week, he spent much of his time defending comments he made about a former Miss Universe contestant whom he sought to shame after she allegedly put on weight.
The controversy over his treatment of Alicia Machado – whose treatment by Mr Trump was raised by his rival, Hillary Clinton, during the first presidential debate – resulted in the New York tycoon letting fire a volley of tweets at 3am.
Randal Pinkett, who won the programme in December 2005 and who has recently criticised Mr Trump, told the AP he remembered him talking about which female contestants he wanted to sleep with, even though Mr Trump had married former model Melania Knauss. “He was like, ‘Isn’t she hot, check her out’, kind of gawking, something to the effect of ‘I’d like to hit that’.”
Former producer Katherine Walker said Mr Trump frequently talked about women’s bodies during the five seasons she worked with him and said he speculated about which female contestant would be “a tiger in bed”.
A former crew member who signed a non-disclosure agreement and asked not to be identified, recalled that Mr Trump asked male contestants whether they would sleep with a particular female contestant, then expressed his own interest.
“We were in the boardroom one time figuring out who to blame for the task, and he just stopped in the middle and pointed to someone and said, ‘You’d f*** her, wouldn't you? I’d f*** her. C’mon, wouldn’t you’.”Reuse content