Hollywood action star and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger will be the new host of The Celebrity Apprentice, replacing the show’s founding host, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
NBC announced Schwarzenegger as the new host on Monday, three months after Trump embarked on his White House bid.
Schwarzenegger, the Austrian bodybuilder-turned-actor starred in films such as The Terminator, Total Recall and Predator before serving eight years as the Republican governor of California.
He said in a tweet he was “blown away” by the reaction to NBC’s announcement.
Paul Telegdy, NBC Entertainment’s President of Alternative and Late Night programming, said the move marks a “powerful new chapter in the story of the ‘Apprentice’ franchise.
“Arnold Schwarzenegger is the epitome of a global brand in entertainment and business, and his accomplishments in the political arena speak for themselves. It was Arnold’s personal passion for the format that Mark Burnett and Donald Trump built over the last decade, as well as his fresh take on how to take it to new heights for today’s audiences, that made him the man to hire. ‘The Celebrity Apprentice’ … will be back!”
Trump congratulated his “friend” on taking over his position on the show.
The billionaire businessman’s relationship with NBC soured amid an uproar over comments he made about immigrants in his first campaign speech.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you, they’re not sending you. They’re sending people who have lots of problems and they’re bringing their problems with us. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime, they’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people,” Trump said during his June 16 speech.
Trump claimed NBC was unhappy with his decision to run for president and it was his decision to walk away from the network.
But, the network said it was his “derogatory statements” the prompted NBCUniversal to end the business relationship.
“At NBC, respect and dignity for all people are cornerstones of our values,” NBC said in a statement announcing the decision to cut ties with The Donald.
READ MORE: NBC tells Donald Trump: ‘You’re fired’
The network also said it would no longer air the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, which Trump co-owned with NBCUniversal until last week.
Trump was host of The Celebrity Apprentice and the original series The Apprentice for a combined 14 seasons.
Although Trump and NBC parted ways with respects to The Celebrity Apprentice, the presidential candidates appeared on the network’s The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon on Friday, even making fun of his own bombastic nature.