Derek Arteta and Jenn Hoffman, <EM>The Apprentice</EM> Derek Arteta and Jenn Hoffman, The Apprentice

At what cost product placement? That's what luxury-minded Lexus must be thinking, having lent its name and slick new vehicle to an installment of NBC's The Apprentice (Sundays at 10 pm/ET), which wound up highlighting go-karts and will be best associated with "white trash." The day after the dual dismissal, TVGuide.com spoke separately with Derek Arteta, who was booted from the boardroom for his use of a questionable term, and Jenn Hoffman, who, it could be argued, was canned just for kicks.

First up, Derek:

TVGuide.com: When they had that promo running all week, saying that "two words" will lead to a double firing, I was sitting there wondering what they could be. Does someone tell Trump, "You suck"? The last words I expected them to be were "white trash."
Derek Arteta:
It's funny, because every week I have my friends over to watch, and as soon as that [promo] came up, they all looked at me and started laughing. They somehow knew it was about me. "Derek, tell me what you say.... " Some of them guessed the two words, actually!

TVGuide.com: Before The Apprentice, had you been aware of the negative connotations of the term "white trash"?
Derek:
Some people can take it negatively, but frankly I was using it to describe myself. I'm also openly gay, so if I want to call myself a fag, I can call myself that. It's empowering. If I'm a guy who likes deep-fried appetizers and who likes bowling and go-karts, so be it, I'm going to call myself white trash. You know what, when there's a white-trash antidefamation alliance, they can take me up on it.

TVGuide.com: The argument, though, is that by specifying white, you're suggesting that minorities represent "regular" trash.
Derek:
Yeah, that's what I have heard. The funny thing is, the last episode totally cut this out, but I'm actually Latino, and during the whole Priceline task in the mall, I kept saying, "This is ridiculous. Just because you're Latino doesn't mean you can't speak English." I said to Mr. Trump, "As a Latino, I'm offended," and Trump was all thrown off. He was already surprised by me being gay, and then this...? He turned back to me and said, "You're really not offended by this?" and I'm like, "I actually am." It's weird to me that now Trump was OK with the racist connotation of assuming that Latinos in a mall don't speak English, but god forbid you say "white trash." I think the majority of viewers don't even see the racist connotation of "white trash."

TVGuide.com: As for the actual task, would you have fired Angela, the deadline misser, over Jenn, the unexpectedly ill-prepared presenter?
Derek:
No, I would not have. My alliance was trying to get rid of Jenn. It was not Angela's fault; that was just the editing. Angela was brought in at the last minute, at Jim's request, to make one extra sign, and I got angry because Jim had asked her to do that. It was not Angela's fault at all. Angela and I are really good friends, she is the one I started the alliance with.

TVGuide.com: What was the best part of the mansion, and what was the worst part of the camp?
Derek:
The best part of the mansion was what I call "temptation island," an island in the kitchen chock full of Twinkies and Twix bars and Snickers. Marissa and I would always hang out there. The worst part of the camp was the porta-potties, which were pretty rank. They were segregated between male and female, and I was the only guy on the team, yet somehow the seat in "my" porta-potty was always down. I don't know if the girls were using it, or people [on the crew].... It always ended up being really gross in there.

And now, Jenn:

TVGuide.com: Did you sense that Trump was ramping up to fire Derek for saying those two words?
Jenn Hoffman:
Yes, as a matter of fact, I did. In the boardroom prior to this, Derek had said something in relation to the whole Latino thing, and Trump looked at him like, "Oooh, I don't like you anymore." So I knew that if he said anything to piss off Trump again, he would be gone. I was just hoping it would be in the final boardroom, when I brought his ass back in there! [Laughs]

TVGuide.com: That was a fair plea you made: "Derek was the one who screwed up here, so.... "
Jenn:
"Can't we just call it a day?" [Laughs]

TVGuide.com: Do you feel it was gratuitous that Trump went on to fire somebody else?
Jenn:
If it had been a random person who made [an offensive] comment, then I would have understood that he still wanted to fire somebody who was responsible [for the team losing]. But I do feel like Derek and Angela shared in the responsibility for the task tanking, so I wish Trump had been satisfied with Derek's firing. But apparently he was out for blood that night!

TVGuide.com: What was the best part of the mansion, and what was the worst part of the camp?
Jenn:
The best part of the mansion was the pool. I loved lounging in it all day. It was kind of nerve-wracking yet fun to be in a bikini on national television. Aimee, Marissa and I definitely embraced it more than the rest of the team. We were definitely down with it. We'd also float around the pool and spy on Arrow and listen to them fight all day, that was fun. The worst part of the tent was that it really broke you down. At first I thought it was kind of fun, like camp, but it was just so cold and wet and damp.... It's not conducive to a good business environment and putting on a good game face the next day. If you just slept in a tent and showered with a hose, you just can't bring it. I look at the message boards and people say we all look rough. Of course we look rough, we haven't washed out hair in a week! I think we looked pretty damn good under the circumstances.

TVGuide.com: Do the Apprentice message boards have any nicknames for you?
Jenn:
Well, I've had a couple.... One person said that I look like Nicole Richie, so in response somebody wrote back, "Yeah, a 'fat' Richie!" [Laughs] It was kind of like a backhanded compliment.

TVGuide.com: No, I think you look like Ben Stiller's wife.
Jenn:
Oh, I get Christine Taylor (Zoolander) all the time. When I was a TV news reporter, I used to have my hair just like hers, and people would put on the message board there, "Christine Taylor is apparently reporting here now!"

TVGuide.com: What's next for you?
Jenn:
I'm not really sure. I've gone back to my PR firm, and they've been incredibly supportive. But I've also dabbled in TV hosting and acting and reporting, so I think I will try to give all that a whirl. I have a bit of stars in my eyes. I certainly don't expect The Apprentice to propel me into stardom, and I don't expect to collect my Oscar anytime soon. [Laughs] Though I should have collected an Emmy for my performance [last Sunday] night, because I truly wanted to crawl across the boardroom table and stab someone. But instead I just smiled and was like, "I love you!"

TVGuide.com: I liked how you sort of broke the fourth wall by telling Trump, "I think we all saw [my firing] coming a few minutes ago."
Jenn:
That was a goal of mine. If I was going to win, fantastic. If I wasn't going to win, I didn't want to go out like everyone else, but in a way unique to me. That was my personality coming through. I was not going to leave the boardroom without, A) interrupting the fact that I was getting fired and pointing out how humorous it was, and B) making everyone inside the boardroom laugh.

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