Quote of the Day: Donald Trump Goes to the Playboy Mansion

Quote of the Day: Donald Trump Goes to the Playboy Mansion

Quote of the Day: Donald Trump Goes to the Playboy Mansion

Long before he decided to try his hand at pretending to be a politician, Donald Trump was known for things like “The Apprentice” and the Miss USA pageant. He was a billionaire who was sort of well known, mostly for his multiple marriages, each ending after he found it impossible to keep Little Donald in his cage, or for his massive Atlantic City failure. But it was “The Apprentice” that really introduced him to America, made him a household name. But what was he like? Surya Yalamanchili was a contestant on “The Apprentice”, and he wrote about his experience on the show, and with “The Donald”… the egotism, the temper, the obsession with ratings, and what he learned from a night with Trump at the Playboy Mansion.

donald trump playboy

The most memorable moments, revealing the aspects of his personality I’d never forget, usually happened off-camera. In the second episode of my season on The Apprentice, my team won the week’s competition, and as a reward, Trump escorted us on a trip to the Playboy mansion, where we would party with Hugh Hefner and whatever Playmates were there. My team consisted mostly of women. As a chauffeur opened the door on our limousine, we were greeted by Hefner’s three then-“girlfriends,” Kendra Wilkinson, Holly Madison and Bridget Marquardt, who were then costars on a reality show of their own. They ushered us inside. After a fireside chat with Hef, we headed to the backyard, where dozens of women — some wearing bikinis, others sporting bunny ears and bowties — surprised our team with a pool party.

Toward the end of the evening, I found myself in a small circle, conversing with Trump, Hefner and another contestant. With a wry smile, Trump looked at Hefner and said, “It’s hard for me to tell which of these girls are yours, and which ones are mine.” The women on my team were well-credentialed business executives, people Trump had supposedly hand-picked for their skills. In that moment, the only real difference to Trump between them and the scantily clad Playmates who were there for his entertainment was that some of the women were “his,” and some weren’t.

Life on The Apprentice was a carefully orchestrated performance. During the casting process — before filming even began — I was carefully coached by the show’s staff to talk up how much I respected Trump, how much I could learn from him, and why appearing on the show would change my life.

Once the show got underway, that kind of obsequious personal pitching became regular groveling for Mr. Trump’s approval. And yes, every contestant was explicitly instructed to refer to him only as “Mr. Trump”—a tic his staff enforces today on the campaign trail. Since he ostensibly decided which of us to fire, we didn’t have much of a choice: We were deferential and solicitous; time and again, I was prompted to repeat the fawning platitudes that had gotten me on the show.

… In Trumpland, the rule of Mr. Trump is absolute. In Trumpland, you have human worth only if you please The Donald. In Trumpland, female business executives are no different than scantily clad Playmates, or at least have to keep quiet if they’re placed in the same box. In Trumpland, a step outside the lines drawn by Mr. Trump, like my joke about Sanjaya, triggers a sharp, furious response.

… Today, when I watch the rallies and the friendly TV appearances, I get the distinct sense that the line between Trumpland and actual reality is blurring. Donald Trump has turned the campaign into a reality show, and we can’t seem to stop watching. Having lived in the former, I can attest that’s not a good thing.

It’s fairly disturbing that Donald Trump chose not to differentiate between Playboy Playmates and women who were supposed to be business executives. For Trump, all women are there to serve him and are sex objects, nothing more. And it’s not something that only happens rarely — who could forget this lovely exchange?

So what will happen when Trump meets, say, Angela Merkel? Or Queen Elizabeth? Or Beata Szydło? We all know that there are no limits to the insults he’ll level at women, even women like Princess Diana. He thinks it’s perfectly acceptable in a professional environment to make a crude joke about a woman being on her knees or comparing people who are, for all intents and purposes, his employees, professional woman who supposedly had superior business acumen and intelligence, to Playboy Playmates. He doesn’t mind making sexual remarks about any woman in the public eye, whether it’s someone like Princess Diana or his own daughters.

It’s bad enough for him to do it on a reality show, where he can make exploitative comments and we all groan about it while secretly being enthralled. But as president? It’s absolutely unacceptable to have someone with this complete and utter lack of moral character in the White House, representing the United States. It’s been bad enough with Obama serving as a national embarrassment for the last eight years. Are we really going to make it worse by electing this sexist pig?

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Ava Gardner