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17/12/2017 10:10 GMT | Updated 18/12/2017 06:18 GMT

The Apprentice's Joanna Jarjue Slams Show Portrayal: 'I Feared Looking Like I Was Playing Race Card'

She believes the BBC show has 'played up to certain stereotypes for entertainment purposes'.

Fired ‘Apprentice’ candidate Joanna Jarjue has criticised the way she feels she was portrayed on the show, but was afraid to speak up for fear of being accused of “playing the race card”. 

The businesswoman, who missed out on a place in the final after the infamous interviews round earlier this week, revealed she was left in tears behind the scenes of the BBC reality show over what she called the “engineered narrative” around her.

BBC
Joanna Jarjue was fired from 'The Apprentice' earlier this week

After reading a Guardian op-ed on the treatment Alexandra Burke had been subjected to on ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ this year, Joanna decided to speak out about her ‘Apprentice’ appearance. 

“Was obvious to me what my ‘character’ was going to be & cried about it behind the scenes but was always scared to voice it out of fear of looking like I was playing the ‘race card’,” she said.

“Glad so many other people have noticed especially after it’s so blatant after the final 5 ep.”

She continued: “I just feel bad for the experts & interviewers on the show who seem to have taken some the wrap for it because it’s a narrative they didn’t create or probably realise was being engineered. 

“Onwards and upwards. This is the last I’ll speak of it but something does need to change because it’s not right,” she added. 

However, Joanna was quick to say she didn’t believe she was fired due to her race. 

After fellow contestant Bushra Shaikh admitted she was “worried about representation throughout” and questioned if her heritage was why she was fired in week nine, Joanna replied: “I disagree Bushra. I don’t know what your feelings are towards racism and firings on the show but i don’t think people were fired due to race.

“The unfair portrayal of character for entertainment purposes is what has played up to certain stereotypes in my opinion.”

Bushra agreed, saying: “Firings are nothing to with race. Unfortunately there is sometimes a pattern with TV, where certain people can be put into a role. I have no answer to that- just that fair representation should always be made.”

A spokesperson from The Apprentice told HuffPost: “We represent candidates in a fair and balanced light, and everything seen on screen is an accurate portrayal of events.”

The final of ‘The Apprentice’ will see Sarah Lynn and James White battle it out for a £250,000 investment in their business from Lord Sugar. 

‘The Apprentice’ concludes on Sunday (17 December) at 9pm on BBC One. 

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