Amazon’s acquisition of MGM Studios may mean a potentially uncomfortable situation for former President Donald Trump due to the alleged deletions of “The Apprentice” now in the hands of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
With Amazon set to acquire the legendary film studio, that means the corporate giant – which claims Bezos as its largest individual shareholder – would own the rights to the back catalog of the reality TV series that has saw the former president pass potential employees and celebrities. various tests to determine who would be granted an apprentice in the business world.
MGM took control of the series in 2014 when it bought a controlling stake in One Three Media, the company then run by Mark Burnett that produced “The Apprentice,” Survivor, ”and several other reality TV hits. Following the sale, MGM appointed Burnett on The following year, Burnett sold the remaining 45% of One Three Media to MGM and became the head of the studio’s global television group and a powerful studio broker.
In light of Amazon’s acquisition of MGM, some are speculating that Bezos could leave the company – he resigns as Amazon CEO on July 5 – with a treasure trove of filth over the former president.
Bezos was a frequent target of Trump during his presidency, which could come back to bite him now that the Amazon billionaire could control the release of the shots and behind-the-scenes footage from the reality series that some, like actor Tom Arnold, allege shows Trump uttering various obscene, demeaning and sexist languages on set and indicating which candidates he would like to have sex with.
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Although MGM owned the rights prior to the Amazon acquisition, it previously told The Associated Press that it still faces legal hurdles with the content and therefore could not release it to the public.
MGM’s attorney, Marvin S. Putnam, said in a statement to the AP in 2016 that such agreements “typically contain provisions relating to confidentiality and artist rights.” Although these deals were negotiated by Burnett’s company, as the owner of that company he said MGM would respect these rights.
In a joint statement at the time, Burnett hoped to quell criticism that protected Trump during the election campaign from potentially damaging imagery. He noted that MGM holds the rights and is unable to release anything unilaterally.
MGM added: “Various contractual and legal requirements also restrict MGM’s ability to distribute such content. “
In a statement to FOX Business Thursday, a representative for MGM reiterated the same statement from years ago, noting: “MGM Studios owns The apprentice and all of its materials, including all images. Although MGM owns all footage, various contractual and legal requirements restrict MGM’s ability to broadcast such content. “
The question now is whether or not Amazon Studios will be tied to similar restrictions?
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Amazon representatives made no comment when contacted by Fox Business.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.