NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt ripped Donald Trump as “pompous” and “toxic,” and even took a shot at the ratings of “Celebrity Apprentice” in a since-deleted post on his personal Facebook page earlier this week.
“Sad state of affairs thanks to a pompous businessman turned reality TV star (whose show consistently ran LAST in its time period, by the way) who thinks speaking his mind is refreshing,” Greenblatt wrote. “It’s actually corrosive and toxic because his ‘mind’ is so demented; and his effect will unfortunately linger long after he’s been told to get off the stage.”
The comments contrast with those made by the NBC chief a year ago, when he said of Trump’s popularity, “I guess people are looking for someone who speaks their mind … Whether you agree with anything he says, he says it without any filter … I think there’s something refreshing about that.”
It’s unclear whether the comments will have an impact on the upcoming presidential debates, in which Trump has maintained he will only participate if fair moderators are chosen. None have yet been selected, but the Republican candidate may now demur if NBC talent like Chuck Todd or Lester Holt are made moderators. It should be noted that Greenblatt does not directly oversee NBC News.
Greenblatt joined NBCUniversal in 2011, well after “The Apprentice” debuted. He is currently responsible for all aspects of primetime, late night and scripted daytime programming for the network, including business affairs, marketing, communications, scheduling, West Coast research and digital operations.
Trump, the GOP presidential nominee, was the star and producer of “The Apprentice” and “Celebrity Apprentice” for 14 seasons, beginning in 2004. “The New Celebrity Apprentice” with Arnold Schwarzenegger will air on NBC later this year.
Greenblatt’s Facebook page is not public and the anti-Trump message was first noticed by the New York Post.
NBC declined TheWrap’s request for additional comment.