In another new low for Donald Trump, the U.S. presidential nominee has been accused of calling Academy Award-winning actress Marlee Matlin “retarded” when she starred on “The Celebrity Apprentice”.
Three anonymous staffers have come forward telling the Daily Beast that Trump would mimic and insult the deaf actress when she competed on Season 11 of the reality show.
He “would often equate that she was mentally retarded,” one source reported. Insiders also reveal that he once wrote demeaning remarks on a napkin that included, “Marlee, is she retarded??”
“He would write notes on his blotter, his papers in front of him, and he would scribble notes in it,” another production staffer shared. “It was usually just asinine things on them.”
Breaks during taping would also see the Republican nominee mimic the star. “In the boardroom, he would talk to her like she was ‘special,'” the source said. “He took her deafness as a some kind of [mental] handicap.”
“But people would just laugh this [stuff] off — it was just the culture of [the show],” a source continued. “But now it’s a little more serious because it’s not a joke anymore!”
These accusations have been echoed by Richard Hatch, who appeared alongside Matlin on “The Celebrity Apprentice”. “He went back and forth with Marlee,” Hatch explained to People magazine. “No matter how she responded, no matter how politely, he would push it a step further with comments about her looks, and how she was making him feel, and about what he thought of her, and how happy he would be to do something with her.”
Hatch also went on to describe the sexual nature of Trump’s conversations on set. “Watching him in the boardroom making sexual comments to Marlee Matlin, to all of the women on ‘The Apprentice’, it was obvious that that’s just a part of who he is.”
Following Hatch’s claims, Matlin herself took to Twitter to offer a response, writing that “the term is abhorrent and should never be used. The fact that we are talking about this during a very important moment in American history has upset me deeply.”
Matlin adds: “I am Deaf. There are millions of Deaf and hard of hearing people like me, in the United States and around the world, who face discrimination and misunderstanding like this on a daily basis. It is unacceptable.”
Her response to the claims: “As a person who is Deaf, as a woman, as a mom, as a wife, as an actor, I have a voice. And I’m using that voice to make myself heard… and vote.”