Donald Trump now faces allegations of another kind, as former The Apprentice employees told The Daily Beast that Trump called Lil Jon an "Uncle Tom" more than once. This week, multiple women have launched sexual assault allegations against Trump, as well as making allegations about other inappropriate behavior.
Rapper Lil Jon competed on the 13th season of Trump's Apprentice, also known as All-Star Celebrity Apprentice, in 2013. Trump's comments stemmed from Lil Jon wearing an Uncle Sam costume for a challenge promoting hair products.
"Look, he's Uncle Tom!" a longtime Apprentice employee recalled Trump blurting out at least twice. Uncle Tom is a term used to refer to a black man who’s seen as servile to white people. The Apprentice employee said Trump was tone deaf to the term's meaning.
Sources said producers tried to stop Trump from calling Lil Jon that. Two sources from two different Apprentice departments spoke anonymously, restricted by a non-disclosure agreement, and said producers were concerned episode guest star Arsenio Hall, who is black, would get wind of Trump's mouth. He did and complained to The Apprentice staff.
"We kept trying to explain to [Trump] that that's not a word you can use, that it's offensive," another Apprentice employee said. "One of the executive producers had to call him up directly to [plead with] him not to say it, and Trump was like, 'No, that's a saying, it's Uncle Tom.'" The employee said there was footage of Trump trying to understand the difference between Uncle Sam and Uncle Tom.
In response to the Uncle Tom allegations, Trump's campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks told the Daily Beast over email: "This is simply untrue."
Late Friday evening, Lil Jon weighed in on the allegations on Twitter, largely confirming the staff members' accounts:
The Uncle Tom report follows a report that Trump referred to Khloé Kardashian as a “fat piglet” when she competed on Celebrity Apprentice. This summer, Trump’s idea for season five of The Apprentice, in which he wanted to pit a team of black people against a team of white people, resurfaced and was made public.