Seven BAME candidates fired in seven weeks – is The Apprentice racist?


This season of The Apprentice has already cemented itself in the show’s canon with the usual mix of deluded candidates – see 19-year-old “luxury womenswear consultant” Ryan-Mark, who wants “billions to lead the lifestyle I want to lead” and Jemelin Artigas, who is so hungry for success that if you cut her, “ambition comes out of my blood”. All 16 entrepreneurial upstarts have been thrown into increasingly ludicrous situations, from starting a South African tour company to designing bespoke ice-lollies and advertising Finland. We have seen seven weeks of cringeworthy and entertaining ineptitude – car-crash TV you can’t quite turn away from.

But an uglier side to the show has reared its head this year. Every one of the candidates fired so far has been from a minority background, a chain of events that has caused mass outrage among fans.

A spokesperson for the show has said that the candidates placed in the line of fire are determined by their losing team’s captain and that “the candidate’s performance both on the task and in the boardroom are then key to Lord Sugar’s decision”. But perhaps, despite its fantastical premise and comic contestants, The Apprentice is actually playing out real-life prejudices.

Read the feature in the Guardian.

[This piece was published on 19/11/19]