Rapper Lil Jon responded last night to a report that said that Donald Trump repeatedly called him “Uncle Tom” while filming a 2013 episode of The Celebrity Apprentice.
“Look, he’s Uncle Tom!” one longtime Apprentice staffer recalled Trump saying at least twice during a show challenge when Lil Jon was dressed as Uncle Sam.
The Daily Beast first dropped the racially charged story, and the gold-mouthed wordsmith tweeted a statement in response to former staffers of the reality show claiming that Trump continually called Lil Jon the epithet, despite their asking him to stop:
Lil Jon’s statement read:
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. 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 [sic] offensiveness.
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.
As per usual, Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks denied that this ever happened: “This is simply untrue.”
Interestingly, this show was the season where some of the rapper’s fellow contestants were Dennis Rodman, Gary Busey, Stephen Baldwin and Omarosa Manigault, who are now all vocal Trump-campaign supporters.
Uncle Tom, as we know, has its origins in Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin, and today the term refers to black people who are exceedingly deferential and subservient to white folks, often denigrating other African Americans in their quest to be “good black people.” Some archetypes include Uncle Ruckus from The Boondocks; Samuel L. Jackson’s house slave, Stephen, from Django Unchained; and Dr. Ben Carson.