From The Grio — If you tuned into NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice last night to catch some of the much-hyped tension between Star Jones and NeNe Leakes you were likely disappointed. Last night’s premiere was very mild. Star Jones took charge as the project manager of the ladies’ team and succeeded. Although she and Lisa Rinna clashed a bit, Jones and Leakes appeared to be cool. That, as several articles have promised, won’t last for long.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, Jones called Leakes “ghetto trash,” a description that would get many black women’s blood boiling. Leakes has labeled the attorney, who gained national celebrity as a co-host on The View, a “horrible bitch and a terrible snob.” In addition, Leakes reportedly found Jones’s behavior curious since “she’s descended from slaves just like me and just like every other black person in America.”

Jones has come out and expressed disdain for Leakes’s comments, telling People magazine, “I did Celebrity Apprentice to raise money and awareness for the American Heart Association, which has been instrumental in my life, not to see it reduced to a cliché where black women attack one another for publicity’s sake.”


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Reportedly Trump loves the tension because that means a ratings bonanza. In 2009, ratings slipped by 21 percentafter the season premiere, but rebounded greatly in 2010 due to rocker Bret Michaels’s surprising life-threatening condition during the show’s airing. As the season goes on, ratings shouldn’t be a problem, as many will tune in to catch Leakes and Jones fight tooth and nail. While Trump only sees it as a benefit for him, the real question is — will it be good news for black women?

Now it must be noted that Celebrity Apprentice is unusually diverse for a network television show. In addition to Leakes and Jones, LaToya Jackson and Dionne Warwick are also contestants. While Jackson doesn’t come across as the brightest crayon in the box, there is something warm about her. She certainly seemed harmless enough and incapable of any conniving board room behavior on the season premiere but time will tell.

Warwick is another surprise. Considering that we haven’t really seen her that much since her stint on the Psychic Friends Network in the 1990s, any appearance from her just seems odd. Let’s just say she showed her age and her status with her inability to nail the finer points of operating a credit card machine smoothly. Like Jackson, she didn’t appear capable of any backstabbing but it’s only the first episode.


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  • African Mami

    What happened to Apprentice?! I hate the celebrity series. They should bring the regular people series back.