An Emmy-winning producer who worked on "The Apprentice" for its first two seasons says TV had warped reality to benefit Donald Trump.
Bill Pruitt, who also worked on "The Amazing Race" and "Deadliest Catch," said Trump's real estate empire was crumbling when he was cast as the star of NBC's reality show, which redeemed him as a famous and successful businessman, reported Vanity Fair.
"'The Apprentice' was a scam put forth to the public in exchange for ratings," Pruitt said. "We were 'entertaining,' and the story about Donald Trump and his stature fell into some bizarre public record as 'truth.'"
Their scam was so successful that it eventually got Trump all the way to the White House, although the president-elect has already signaled he doesn't really want to live there and would prefer to stay in the Manhattan apartment building with his name on it.
"We are masterful storytellers and we did our job well," Pruitt said. "What’s shocking to me is how quickly and decisively the world bought it. Did we think this clown, this buffoon with the funny hair, would ever become a world leader? Not once. Ever."
"Would he and his bombastic nature dominate in prime-time TV? We hoped so," he said.
Pruitt said he's horrified that the reality they constructed had corrupted the political world, and he warned TV producers to use their new powers responsibly.
"Now that the lines of fiction and reality have blurred to the horrifying extent that they have, those involved in the media must have their day of reckoning," he said. "People are buying our crap. Make it entertaining, yes. But make it real. Give them the truth or pay the consequences."