President-elect Donald Trump has denied that he will work on the new series of Celebrity Apprentice after taking office.
It had been reported that Donald Trump would continue to be an executive producer of the reality show he helped create.
Donald Trump tweeted on December 10 that he would “devote zero time” to the new series, which will be hosted by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
However, the president-elect did reaffirm that he has a “big stake” in the show.
Donald Trump fronted Celebrity Apprentice, which is owned by MGM and aired by NBC, until 2015, when his political career took over.
There have been concerns about a conflict of interest because of The Apprentice‘s advertising deals and because NBC also runs various news productions.
Donald Trump tweeted, referring to the Apprentice‘s creator, TV producer Mark Burnett: “I have NOTHING to do with The Apprentice except for fact that I conceived it with Mark B & have a big stake in it. Will devote ZERO TIME!”
He described the reports that he would be working on the show during his presidency as “fake news”.
Donald Trump will be sworn in as the United States president on January 20, 18 days after the new series begins.
Variety magazine, which first reported the story, had claimed Donald Trump would be paid at least “in the low five-figures” per episode. MGM declined to comment on the financial arrangements.
Some observers have questioned whether the connection could affect the reporting on Donald Trump by NBC’s news division.
In June 2015, NBC said it had ended its business relationship with Donald Trump because of “derogatory statements” he made about immigrants during his presidential campaign.
However, The Apprentice new series was recorded in February, before NBC severed its ties with Donald Trump and before his election.
His supporters have defended him, comparing his Apprentice credit to royalties received by President Barack Obama from his books.
Donald Trump is due to hold a news conference next week outlining how he plans to leave his business “in total in order to fully focus on running the country”.
The new series of Celebrity Apprentice features stars including Boy George, Motley Crue frontman Vince Neil and Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi.