Yesterday we wondered if Donald Trump was sending crew members to gas deprived Yonkers to fill up vans for the production of his reality show The Apprentice. Our tipster finally got back to us last night and gave us a first hand account of the event:
Last night a crew of 18 vehicles all left from NYC to go to Yonkers for a gas station that we were told was opening up just for us around 1am. We left NYC around 10pm headed up the westside highway to Yonkers and arrived in the area around 1045. We got to the BP gas station at 191 McLean ave and there was a huge car line for it. Since we didn't want to attract attention to caravan we spilt up and parked nearby waiting for the word to move to the station.
All throughout the night our supervisor was telling us that some special favors had to be called in for this to happen. Later we found out that we were getting a police escort, turned out it was about 6 or 7 Yonkers cops blocking incoming traffic to the station, which I sent some pics of. While we were filling up there were people trying to turn in to fill up and some people with red cans trying to fill up. They thought it was open because there were vans going in and out for 45 min. Oh and there was a sign attached to the convenience store that said "No Gas."
I don't know how any of this was set up or how much we over paid for this. Just seems a bit insensitive considering the real problems people are having.
Seems pretty scummy.
Another Apprentice crew member sent us an email arguing that the show did nothing wrong at all. Take a look:
I hope you will respect my request for anonymity, just as you did for the person that originally wrote you regarding this issue.
I also work on the show that was clearly implied in your article titled "Is Donald Trump Filling Up His "Apprentice" Vans While There's A Gas Shortage?" I have a response for the individual who wrote that letter as well as a responsibility to share the truth with your readers.
First of all, let me clarify who actually works on this show. We are not privileged. We are not wealthy. We are literally hundreds of working class individuals who are grateful to have a job opportunity in this economy. And not just any opportunity, we are ecstatic to be in a field that is fulfilling our dreams. We work incredibly long hours and take none of this for granted. We are aware that we work on a television show, and none of us operate under the illusion that we are curing cancer. But it is because of this that we do not feel entitled, and you will never hear one complaint on our set.
We not only realize the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy on New York City and its surrounding neighbors, most of us are living it. Our crew consists largely of NYC/NJ natives that have been dealing with the aftermath; flooding, power outages, nonexistent transportation, and we have still been reporting to the office everyday, on time, ready to work. In fact even with our strides to push through and maintain some sense of normalcy, we too have had to make unfortunate and difficult decisions in order to circumvent the effects of this gas shortage. We have had to sacrifice in certain areas and relied on our crew to tirelessly make up for these sacrifices.
Our transportation department has been working around the clock in order to provide rides to those on our crew that had no other means of getting to work. They, like many east coasters, have been waiting in line for (up to 6 or 7) hours to get gas. They have been forced to travel further and further away from the city to find gas stations that were operational and available in order to get people to work. And yet, they have maintained their unshakeable positive attitude. So if you "see a caravan of 17 vans trucking up the Westside Highway" I would invite you to honk and wave, because those people are exhausted, doing their jobs, and supporting their crew.
We simply have the best crew working in reality television. Take that as you will, some may not feel that it is a serious statement. But when this is your livelihood you realize how important it is to have a show that you feel is your family, a show that brings you a sense of consistency when you're otherwise working for a few weeks at a time. These people deserve respect.
Whoever contacted you with this blind item is an unequivocally disgusting person. To turn against those that they have been working along side is an unforgivable act. Not only does this reflect poorly upon the 200+ people that work on this show, it invites at best harassment and at worst physical altercations against people who are simply trying to do their jobs. I would ask your readers to please think about who are driving these vans, and to not make any rash or regrettable decisions when encountering our vehicles.
Regardless of what you may think of this blonde mogul, if you are so offended by a TV show that you feel the need to attack the very down-to-earth LOCALS that are employed by it, you should turn off your TV. And above all, I would invite the person who originally wrote you to turn in their crew badge and paycheck that they collect from said mogul every week. I find it reprehensible that this person has the absolute gall to claim that they are ‘fighting the good fight' when they themselves are benefitting from our crew working around the clock to keep our show on the air.
I just want to make it abundantly clear, ‘fighting the good fight', should not be turning against those who are struggling to regain normalcy and do their job. ‘Fighting the good fight' should be donating to Red Cross, volunteering at your local shelters, and helping out your friends and neighbors who need a place to stay. I know I speak on behalf of every member of this crew when I say that we love this city and hope for a speedy recovery from this disaster.
Thank you for your time.
[Image via AP]