Rapper Lil Jon responded late Friday to a report from The Daily Beast that alleges GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump repeatedly called the star “Uncle Tom” when he was a contestant on Trump’s spinoff reality show, “Celebrity Apprentice.”
The rapper confirmed the report in a statement released on his Twitter account. Lil Jon said that he “addressed Mr. Trump immediately” once he caught word of the nickname, and he said that Trump did stop using the offensive slur, which refers to a black person who is submissive to white people.
The Daily Beast reported that several staffers who worked on Trump’s show, who spoke anonymously to the news outlet due to non-disclosure agreements, said that the then-"Apprentice" host began referring to the “Turn Down for What” singer as “Uncle Tom” during an episode in which Lil Jon donned an Uncle Sam costume for a promotion.
A Trump spokeswoman responded to The Daily Beast's initial request for comment by saying, “This is simply untrue.” That response was sent before Lil Jon's tweet.
NBC has reached out for comment as well.
Producers reportedly tried to nip the nickname in the bud quickly, unnamed staffers said, in particular because talk-show host Arsenio Hall, who, like Lil Jon, is black, was guest starring on the episode. Hall reportedly let staff know that he had overheard Trump using the nickname and was offended.
The Daily Beast reported that it reached out to the Trump campaign for comment and received a brief statement from campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks, saying: “This is simply untrue.”