US pundits and citizens alike have been calling on 'Apprentice' producer Mark Burnett to publish more of the Republican nominee's candid comments. Burnett and parent company MGM have claimed they lack the legal rights.
Pressure was mounting on Tuesday for the producers of Donald Trump's reality television show "The Apprentice" to release footage relating to the Republican presidential candidate's attitude towards women.
Rumors, fueled in part by former staffers on the 11-seasons of the TV series, were swirling that Trump had made far more controversial statements than showed on the 2005 audiotape released last Friday. The recording, in which Trump brags about groping women, has sent the Republican campaign into a tailspin.
"As a producer on seasons 1 & 2 of #theapprentice I assure you: when it comes to the #trumptapes there are far worse," Bill Pruitt wrote on Twitter.
But Mark Burnett (pictured above), the producer behind Trump's business competition show and countless other hit reality series, has said he has no right to release any unaired video.
"Despite reports to the contrary, Mark Burnett does not have the ability nor the right to release footage or other material from 'The Apprentice,'" according to a statement attributed to both Burnett and media giant MGM, which owns Burnett's company.
"Various contractual and legal requirements also restrict MGM's ability to release such material," they added.
Burnett has also said that claims he threatened to sue any employees who leaked material were false.
Multi-million dollar penalty
Television producer Chris Nee, although he has not worked on "The Apprentice," suggested that the real road-block was a $5 million (4.5 million euro) contractual penalty imposed on any of the show's employees who may leak footage.
To that end, Clinton supporter and Media Matters founder David Brock took to Twitter to promise he would pay the $5 million to any former "Apprentice" worker willing to share information:
The Huffington Post claimed on Monday to have acquired some unaired transcripts of the show's segments, including one where Trump told a female contestant she had bad skin and needed "some f….... dermatology."
Trump's polling numbers have slumped significantly since Friday's release of a decade-old audio recording from the show "Access Hollywood." In the tape, the then 59-year-old real estate magnate claimed he could touch women whenever he wanted because of his fame.
It was just the latest in a series of revelations about Trump's treatment of women, including calling former Miss Universe Alicia Machado "Miss Piggy" for gaining weight and suggesting that journalist Megyn Kelly was hard on him during a debate because of PMS.
es/jm (AP, AFP)