November 10, 2005
Anti-Semitism Trumps Sex
A dig about Jews took center stage on "The Apprentice" -- again. And once again, it was a loser.
"Apprentice" stars real-life rich developer Donald Trump, who fires one job applicant after another, finally offering a real job to the survivor.
The remark occurred in the Nov. 3 episode, in which the competing aspirants, divided into two teams, had to lead a class at The Learning Annex (where Trump also has taught). Students scored the team of "teachers." Members of the lower-scoring team risked getting fired.
Team Capital Edge, led that week by 22-year-old Adam, chose the topic of sex in the workplace. During the presentation, Adam, who admitted discomfort with the subject, talked about being a "nice Jewish boy from Atlanta."
While discussing taking someone to dinner for a first date, he added, "I have to feel really comfortable with the person, and I also have to be willing to spend the money."
His teammate, 28-year-old Clay, chimed in with, "But remember, he's the shy, tight Jewish boy."
Adam -- who was stunned by the remark, as were many in the class -- later confronted Clay, who insisted his comment was misinterpreted. Later still, Clay denied saying it in front of Trump. In the end, the Adam/Clay team lost to Team Excel, which had chosen the safe topic of "How to Make Your Mark."
While talking to Trump, Adam made it clear that he didn't believe Clay was anti-Semitic but that Clay's crude presentation style hurt them.
Neither Clay nor Adam got fired -- yet. That unhappy prize was reserved for their babbling 41-year-old teammate Markus. But the billionaire and his assistant, George Ross, who is Jewish, took Clay to task, telling him there's no room in the marketplace for anti-Semitism.
This wasn't the first time an anti-Semitic remark has had repercussions on "The Apprentice." Last year, Trump fired contestant Jennifer Crisafulli in the same episode that she blamed a loss on "two old Jewish fat ladies" who had given her team a low score on a restaurant task.
The kicker? She was also fired from her job at a real estate agency for making the remark.
"The Apprentice" airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.