Donald Trump was the star of the reality TV show, The Apprentice, from 2004 to 2017. Kanye West appears on the reality TV show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians, ever since 2010. Both Donald Trump and Kanye West are running for president in the 2020 United States election. It turns out that their reality TV experience has helped them with their campaigning more than you know.
Politicians require various skills to be good at their jobs, especially at the presidential level. Public speaking, an understanding of social media, empathy, presentation, the ability to handle a crisis, networking ability and interpersonal skills are a few capabilities that politicians need. What’s interesting about this list is many of these skills are also required if you intend to work in film, particularly reality TV. A big part of being on reality TV is presenting yourself in an appeasing way and speaking to the audience. You also need to be able to connect to your fellow reality TV stars, communicate with fans over social media and handle crises because they’ll happen one way or another. There are many correlations between the two professions. How have Kanye and Trump proved themselves on their reality TV shows?
On Keeping Up with the Kardashians, Kanye West has proven his transferable skills on numerous occasions. In 2016, it was reported that Kanye was carrying $53 million dollars in debt. Talk about a crisis! This isn’t the first time Kanye has experienced financial struggle, in fact, he talks about his money troubles in various songs such as “Spaceship” and “Can’t Tell Me Nothing.” Kanye was able to pull through his financial struggles with the help of Kim Kardashian and Kris Jenner. Politicians are almost always managing the debt of a country with the help of their coworkers too. Debt isn’t necessarily bad, it just needs to be managed which is what Kanye has done before.
Another time, Kanye demonstrated his presidential ability was during the preparation for his wedding with Kim. Supposedly, Kanye was quite the “groomzilla” as he was heavily involved in the decor and style of the wedding. Kanye was even involved with Kim’s wedding dress design as he knows Riccardo Tischi, a Givenchy designer. His heavy involvement in his own wedding shows how much he cares about his public image and the image of those around him, particularly Kim. In fact, Kim’s look has evolved ever since their marriage, it seems he’s had quite an effect on her appearance.
As for Donald Trump, The Apprentice is an unscripted reality TV show that follows 16 candidates from different walks of life. The candidates endure various intense tasks every week while living in a loft together in Manhattan. The tasks are designed to test their intelligence, street smarts and wits. Trump is the ringleader of the TV show, he creates the teams and assigns the tasks. Because this TV show is unscripted, Trump needed to think on his feet when it comes to his demeanor and appearance. This is public image management at it’s finest.
Trump is essentially the driving force of The Apprentice. It’s interesting that he would create and play a major part in the reality TV show because it’s a great way for him to discover new business talent. Trump also successfully got his name out in the world which is a big part of being a politician, getting the recognition. Although Trump’s image is often perceived as sarcastic, crass and egotistical. “You haven’t helped me at all. Get out!” and “Women, great job. As a little treat, you’re gonna see the nicest apartment in New York City. It’s my apartment. So you be up there, one o’clock at my apartment. Guys, they killed you. They really gave you a good beating. So you’re not gonna be seeing my apartment” are a few of his quotes from The Apprentice.
Politicians should have a strong moral compass, a desire to fix issues that are bigger than them and a deep understanding of the government system in addition to strong interpersonal and presentation skills. Unfortunately, these skills can’t be learned while being the star of a reality TV show.