This season of NBC’s Celebrity Apprentice has the Donald Trump organization busy with their projects and challenges as 18 contestants compete for the title of “Celebrity Apprentice.” Competing to raise awareness for their individual charities, the stakes are high and they can’t rely on their fame alone to stay in the competition. Being business savvy and strategic in accomplishing tasks for Mr. Trump is where the fun begins as the personality types come out and showcase their skills and tenacity to successfully execute their challenges and projects. But why would the average urban islander enjoy such a show? Because watching driven individuals work and push their causes should motivate us to visualize ourselves on a platform like this one day as well. Representing for “TeamPolynesia” this season is actress Tia Carrere and George Takei. The WhatItDo was able to catch up with them and the big boss himself Mr. Donald Trump to see what they had to say.
TWID: I was wondering if you could each discuss how you chose your charity, and how you were chosen to be on the show.
Tia Carrere: I was introduced to my charity, After School All Stars, by Arnold Schwarzenegger, about 18 years ago-we had done some stuff down in East LA. It was primarily an athletic after school program, but it has now grown dramatically across America since. They just recently opened an after school program in my neighborhood in Hawaii. I got involved with the Hawaii chapter, and had just come back from living in Hawaii for two months, and I thought, you know what? The money that Celebrity Apprentice provides for charity, could make a huge difference in my own personal neighborhood. So this was very personal involving myself.
George Takei: My charity is the Japanese American National Museum. I’ve been on its board of trustees from its inception, and served as its Chairman of the Board from the year 2000-2004. It’s a story of immigrants that came from Japan, as well as their descendants. As you know, every immigration story has an epic quality to it. However, what makes the Japanese American experience so singular, is that in the second generation after the immigrants came, Pearl Harbor happened. Due to the simple fact that we happened to look like the people responsible for the bombing of Pearl Harbor, us being Americans as well, of Japanese ancestry, we were summarily rounded up with no charges and with no trial. The pillar of our justice system, due process, was completely ignored; our constitution was violated. We were put into 10 barbed wire internment camps. It was one of the most shameful, and certainly for my parents, it was a time of loss and anguish and extreme hardship. I was a child, so my experience differs from my parents. Even growing up and as a teenager, I starting asking questions about it, as well as reading up on it, and more particularly challenging my father about it. To summarize what my father said after many, many years of discussion, he said both the strength and the weakness of American democracy is in the fact that it’s a peoples’ democracy. It can be as great as the people can be, but it can also be as fallible as people are. I think it’s a message that’s important for all Americans; that’s why we founded this museum, and I have been dedicated to it; It’s a cause near and dear to me. It’s my mission in life is to raise the awareness of that dark chapter of American history to all Americans because it happened to our constitution. That’s why I chose that – well it wasn’t choosing it; it is my primary charity. I’m so glad that I was able to talk about it and share the story of it to so many people by Celebrity Apprentice. It’s a story that too many people – too many Americans are still to this day, unaware of.
TWID: You have three children working on Celebrity Apprentice Mr. Trump . Do you think that’s part of why the show works so well?
Donald Trump: Well I think it helps. I mean I have two, and actually Eric now is joining the cast. They were all great students; they’re good kids, and they’re smart. It’s been nice; having a family dynamic is nice. I don’t know how my two compatriots on the phone feel, but I think Ivanka, Don, and Eric have done a good job.
Tia Carrere: I have a soft spot for Donald Junior, he’s just a sweetie. I think it’s a great testament to you. Meaning, you get to see behind the curtains of peoples’ public persona. You think, wow a very foreboding presence, and a powerful man. He’s also raised a really wonderful and bright family, and they have great insights, and they’re great business people in and of their own right. I think that’s also intriguing to the viewer to come to know-the Trump family, as well as the Trump organization, in an approach to business.
George Takei: Yes, I definitely will echo a lot of what you said, Tia. The other thought that came to mind is there’s Mr. Trump, the patriarch of this dynasty, and I muse on what Donald, Ivanka, and Eric are going to do when they’re their father’s age; what’s going to happen with this dynasty. Now, you think of the Kennedys’, and generation after generation what they’re doing-contributing and doing interesting things. I am somewhat mused on the future with the Trump family.
Donald Trump: I hope they do well. We just bought Doral Country Club, in Miami, which is a phenomenal piece of land-hundreds of acres. I now have them working through this on television, but they have to go into the real world as well which is for us, real estate.
TWID: Were you guys raring to become project managers and to take the lead, or were you getting more and more nervous about that?
Tia Carrere: Goodness, wow! I think the first two challenges people immediately chimed up, “oh I’m great at that”, so I was like, you know what? I’m going to give this a beat. I think I was one of the last people to jump on. I wanted to give the game some time to play out and learn how it works. I mean, there’s some technological things that we needed to figure out; we had brand new cell phones I had a little difficulty figuring out personally, so I wanted to give it some space to breathe, grow, learn the ropes, and let other people make some mistakes before I jumped in. I was very happy to take this time to research what goes into being a project manager, where they might go wrong, and where they might succeed.
George Takei: I’m going to let you guys in on a little advance peak at the next show. I’ve been told that I can share this with you. I took on the project manager shift with the task that you’re going to be seeing this Sunday. With the first show, Paul Teutul announced immediately he was going to be able to raise an impressive six-figure amount for charity. This quieted everybody else down, and we immediately gave it to him. However, in this case, my desire to raise as much money as I can for the Japanese American National Museum, is what enabled me to accept the challenge because up front there was $25,000 if we won-the $25,000 prize, and this is why I took on the challenge of being a project manager. So stay tuned and you’ll find out what happens.
With every task at hand, it always ends up in the boardroom for review. Donald Trump is no doubt the toughest boss to work for in front of the world to see. Getting some insight from Tia Carrere and George Takei helps us realize the effort that it takes to perform in a high stakes competition where a simple mistake can get you fired. As the season continues, tuning in is the only way your gonna learn how to strive in the drive and that is the WhatItDo!
Article Written by: Elizabeth Lavulo
*Photos courtesy of Mitchell Hasseth/NBC