Lil Jon said he once had to call out Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for offensively calling him an “Uncle Tom” during a 2013 episode of “The Celebrity Apprentice.”
The Atlanta rapper released a statement on Twitter Friday in response to a recent story by The Daily Beast. The news outlet reported that three former staffers of the reality show claimed that Trump ― who was the host of show at the time ― had repeatedly called Lil Jon an “Uncle Tom” after the rapper put on a Uncle Sam costume to help promote a product his team was pitching.
“Look, he’s Uncle Tom!” one staffer reportedly said Trump yelled during the show at least twice.
The Daily Beast reported that the same staffer explained to them how Trump was “tone-deaf to the racially charged history of the term, which is used to deride a black man deemed to be subservient to white people.”
Lil Jon’s statement confirmed the name-calling and that he had to explain to Trump why the term was so offensive.
“When this ‘Uncle Tom’ incident happened on ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ in the boardroom several of my cast mates and I addressed Mr. Trump immediately when we heard the comment,” the rapper wrote. “I can’t say if he knew what he was actually saying or not but he did stop using that term once we explained it’s offensiveness.”
Lil Jon starred on the “All-Star” version of the show during season 13 alongside other black celebrities like Dennis Rodman and Omarosa Manigault, both of whom are avid supporters of Trump’s run for president. In fact, Manigault is now Trump’s director of African American outreach, which has turned into a campaign effort that is as dismal as the descriptions Trump has painted of black Americans.
Lil Jon says not to count him among Trump’s small bunch of black supporters.
“I also want to be clear that I don’t agree with many of the statements Mr. Trump has said during his current run for president,” he said.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.
Correction: An earlier version of this story reported incorrectly that Trump continued to use the slur after its meaning had been explained.