Back in 2016, Lil Jon confirmed a boardroom incident during a 2013 taping of Celebrity Apprentice where he alleged Donald Trump referred to him as “Uncle Tom.” On Wednesday (Nov. 7), a Yahoo News White House correspondent once again pressed the president about his comments directed at the Atlanta native during a media conference following Tuesday’s midterm elections.
Trump brushed off claims of repeatedly using racist rhetoric in the past and went on to say he didn’t even know who Lil Jon was, though the “Turn Down for What” artist appeared on a pair of Celebrity Apprentice seasons. “I don’t know who Lil Jon Is,” he said, before being told the 47-year-old starred on his show. “I don’t know. Oh, he was? OK. Oh, I see,” Trump finally obliged.
The “Uncle Tom” remarks stem from a Daily Beast report, which says Lil Jon donned an Uncle Sam suit to help win a hair product advertising challenge on the show and “during the day’s shoot, Trump himself caught wind of this gimmick and began referring to Lil Jon around Apprentice staff as ‘Uncle Tom’ instead of Uncle Sam.”
The Lil Jon & The Eastside Boyz frontman addressed the situation in a statement posted to Twitter in 2016. “I addressed Mr. Trump immediately when I heard the comment. I can’t say if he knew what he was saying or not, but he did stop using the term once we explained its offensiveness,” said Jon.
Check out the exchange at the press conference below.
Here’s Trump saying that he doesn’t know who Lil Jon is even though he was on Celebrity Apprentice. pic.twitter.com/EcJ3awjxbt
— Holly F???ero? O’Re?lly (@AynRandPaulRyan) November 7, 2018
Trump says it’s “false” that he used racist language about Black people, as Michael Cohen and…Lil Jon…said.
Trump: “I don’t know who Lil Jon is.”
Reporter: “He was on The Apprentice.”
Trump: Oh okay.
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) November 7, 2018