Report: Donald Trump Called Deaf Apprentice Contestant Marlee Matlin 'Retarded'

Photo of Donald Trump and Marlee Matlin via Getty
Photo of Donald Trump and Marlee Matlin via Getty

Donald Trump, an abandoned cruise ship full of people afflicted with the Noro virus, continues to show his true colors: three staffers who worked on Marlee Matlin’s season of The Apprentice say that he repeatedly referred to the deaf actress as “retarded.”


On Wednesday, former Apprentice contestant Richard Hatch told Entertainment Weekly that Trump exhibited the kind of boorish behavior we are now intimately familiar with by making lewd comments towards fellow contestants Matlin and Lisa Rinna. Now the Daily Beast reports that in addition to leering at Matlin during her season on the show, Trump “would regularly disrespect the actress and would even treat her as if she were mentally disabled.”

Speaking anonymously, the sources said that Trump would routinely disparage Matlin behind her back, scribbling “asinine” things on bits of scrap paper in the “boardroom” while on set, equating Matlin’s deafness with mental disability. In one particularly eloquent note, Trump reportedly scrawled “Marlee, is she retarded??” on one of the pieces of paper, which was found by one of the sources responsible for tidying up after tapings.

When he wasn’t asking an empty piece of paper whether or not Matlin was “retarded,” he was focusing his other energies on the way she spoke.

“[Trump] would make fun of her voice. It actually sounded a lot like what he did [to] the New York Times guy...The source said this incident occurred outside the boardroom, during a break from filming. “Like, to make it seem like she was mentally not there? [It] sounded like he got a real kick out of it. It was really upsetting.”

While most of this behavior was behind Matlin’s back, it seems Trump couldn’t help himself from saying this shit directly to her face, too. “In the boardroom, he would talk to her like she was ‘special,’” a source said. Continuing to conflate deafness with a mental disability in a way that only he could do, a source recounts an incident in which Trump made an “insensitive” comment about Matlin’s deafness while she was sitting across the table from him in the boardroom. “She responded [to him], she stood up for herself,” the source said. Naturally, that incident didn’t make it to air. Shocking!

The Trump campaign has yet to comment on the story, but I’m sure Jason Miller and his minions will poop something out soon.

Senior Writer, Jezebel


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