Lil Jon Confirms Donald Trump Called Him ‘Uncle Tom’
Rapper Lil Jon speaks up for the first time about Donald Trump referring to him as “Uncle Tom” during the 2013 taping of “The Celebrity Apprentice.”
On Friday night, Lil Jon took to Twitter with a statement:
“When this ‘Uncle Tom’ incident happened on ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ in the boardroom several of my castmates and I addressed Mr. Trump immediately. I can’t say if he knew what he was saying or not, but he did stop using that term once we explained it’s offensiveness. I also want to be clear that I don’t agree with many of the statements Mr. Trump has said during his current run for President.”
The name calling came to public attention Friday when three staffers on the show told The Daily Beast of the uncomfortable incident that rose in the boardroom when Lil Jon walked in wearing an Uncle Sam costume to help market a hair product in their weekly challenge.
A longtime staffer on “Apprentice” recalled Trump referring to Lil Jon twice as “Uncle Tom” rather than “Uncle Sam.” For those not up on their American history, “Uncle Tom” is a derogatory label that dates back to the 1850s and is used to refer to a black man who
After guest Arsenio Hall voiced his displeasure with the phrase, several staffer stepped in to smooth things over.
“We kept trying to explain to [Trump] that that’s not a word you can use, that it’s offensive,” an “Apprentice” employee told The Daily Beast. “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.’ There are several takes in the footage of the dailies that has him trying to figure out the difference between ‘Uncle Tom’ and Uncle Sam. He just couldn’t grasp that it was offensive… When [Trump] decides he wants to do something, that’s his way.”
Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks told The Daily Beast, “This is simply untrue.”