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The Apprentice scandals

Bullying, boardroom shoving and antisemitism: All of The Apprentice’s biggest scandals

There was once a physical fight in the boardroom

The Apprentice is a show constantly plagued by scandals – which is kind of in the nature of what happens when you cast a load of arrogant people with huge egos and make them compete against each other for a huge financial investment. The latest involves this year’s Dr Asif Munaf, who got his scenes in spin-off You’re Fired cut by the BBC after backlash from his comments on Twitter regarding the conflict between Israel and Hamas. But he’s not the only candidate to get wrapped up in The Apprentice and its scandals – here are some of the others from through the years.

Boardroom scrap

In 2015, Selina Waterman-Smith got a verbal warning when she physically shoved Charleine Wain in the boardroom. The footage was never shown. They’d had tension all season, but things boiled over after Charleine told Lord Sugar Selina was “as annoying as a wasp at a picnic”. When they left the boardroom, Selina shoved Charleine.

Lottie Lion race row


Lottie Lion was a fiery candidate on her series of The Apprentice, but she got accused of a racially abusing her castmate Lubna Farhan. At one point, Lottie threatened Lubna, saying “Seriously f*ck off Lubna before I f*cking knock you out” and then later referring to her as “Ghandi” in leaked messages.

Addressing this, Lottie said “I appreciate the messages sent between myself and Lubna could come across as offensive but they were intended as a joke and no offence was meant by them.”

Amy Anzel banned from final

After Amy Anzel was fired, she had a Twitter spat with Lord Sugar and got banned from coming back again.

— Amy Anzel (@amyanzel) March 23, 2023

Aaron got embroiled in a bullying scandal in 2022, when three of his co-stars accused him of bullying behaviour in scenes that never made the final edit. Navid, Harry and Kathryn all said they clashed with him. A source at the time said

“Things often get heated but some scenes Aaron was in were explosive. He has a military background and doesn’t pull many punches. Some candidates felt bullied. Three were visibly upset. The BBC hasn’t shown those scenes. Some people think that was deliberate.”


Aaron said in response: “These accusations have no foundation and I find it disappointing that someone would decide to make these claims now, and in such a public way. Conversations can get heated during the process, but at no point was my conduct not compliant with the clear guidelines put in place by the producers.”


Asif from this year’s The Apprentice has been wrapped in one of the most serious scandals on the show after he was called out for antisemitism on Twitter after he said Zionists are a “godless, satanic cult” and “Have you ever met even a semi-average looking Zionist? Aren’t they all odiously ogre-like?”

His scenes ended up being cut from You’re Fired. The BBC said initially “After filming had taken place, we were made aware of concerns over social media posts that Asif had made after he had left the process. As soon as we were alerted, we took immediate action and spoke to Asif in detail on this. Asif took part in specialised training to understand why his posts may cause offence. We are committed to providing an inclusive environment on and off screen.”

A BBC source subsequently told The Independent: “We can confirm that the individual concerned will not feature as a guest on any additional upcoming BBC content relating to The Apprentice.”

Danny Cohen, former BBC programming boss, told Deadline “I would advise BBC managers to stop telling Jewish employees what is and isn’t antisemitism. This simply would not happen if the issue involved racism against any other minority community.”

The Apprentice 2024 Series 18 continues on Thursdays on BBC One and BBC iPlayer – for all the latest reality TV and entertainment news, memes and gossip, like Pop Culture Shrine on Facebook

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