’The Apprentice’ returned with its usual mix of hapless contestants and ridiculous one-liners on Wednesday night, but viewers were not impressed to see some good old fashioned sexism thrown in to its debut episode.
One of the new candidates came under fire from fans of the business-based reality show after he made some disparaging remarks about the female contestants.
After they were set their first challenge - the classic treasure hunt task - Rick Monk told his male team mates: “These girls have no chance of winning this first task.
“They’re gonna be fashion-conscious, ‘oh my make-up’s running’, doing their hair. The boys on tour. We’re definitely going to wipe the floor with them.”
Viewers quickly flooded social media to call him out for relying on tired old tropes to motivate the team.
Some wished Lord Sugar’s aide Karren Brady had been around at the time, as she would have undoubtedly had something to say about it.
The task saw both the male and female teams sent to Malta to try and find nine obscure items for the best price, but the challenge soon descended into chaos as both teams made a series of errors.
While Lord Sugar tore them both off a strip during the boardroom showdown, he recently defended the show’s contestants from fan criticism of their constant mistakes.
Speaking at the series press launch, he said: “The program itself is an entertainment program as well as a business program.
“Those ‘stupid’ people you’re talking to run six very successful businesses, one of which has made a million pounds this year, and the others are closely far behind them.”
He added: “The process is that we do find a winner in the end and the people try to fight for the position in the early stages, they sometimes say things that sound a bit silly, but they’re not that daft really.”
‘The Apprentice’ continues next Wednesday at 9pm on BBC One.