‘The Apprentice’ Star Jeremy Strong Defends CNN, Likens Trump to Stalin and Mao in Cannes Speech

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Actor Jeremy Strong likened former President Donald Trump to Stalin and Mao and also defended CNN, in a statement to the Cannes Film Festival following the world premiere Monday of The Apprentice.

His comment followed The Apprentice director Ali Abbasi’s remarks labeling Trump as a fascist after the screening.

Jeremy Strong, portraying Trump mentor Roy Cohn in the film, is currently starring in a Broadway production of Ibsen’s Enemy of the People and thus was absent from the premiere.

In a statement read by Abbasi during a press conference on Tuesday, Strong used the play’s title to critique Trump.

“‘Enemy of the people’ is a phrase that has been used by Stalin, Mao, by Goebbels, and most recently by Donald Trump who denounces the free press and calls CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, the New York Times, fake news media,” he said.

“We’re living in a world where truth is under assault,” he added, attributing this to Roy Cohn’s “legacy of lies, of outright denialism, of manipulation, of flagrant disregard for truth.”

Strong did not address the mainstream news media’s various acts of deception, such as the promotion of the Russia collusion narrative and its refusal to cover the Hunter Biden laptop scandal.

The Apprentice, which does not yet have a U.S. distributor, is in the competition for the top prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Mainstream media outlets have lauded the film, including Sebastian Stan’s portrayal of a young Trump.

The film dramatizes Trump’s rise to power during the 70s, highlighting his close association with Roy Cohn. It also depicts Trump’s relationships with his father (Martin Donovan) and first wife, Ivana (Borat 2 actress Maria Bakalova).

One scene in the movie portrays Trump raping Ivana, an act that Ivana Trump has denied occurring.

The Trump campaign announced this week that it plans to sue the filmmakers.

“We will be filing a lawsuit to address the blatantly false assertions from these pretend filmmakers,” the Trump campaign’s chief spokesperson Steven Cheung stated. “This garbage is pure fiction which sensationalizes lies that have been long debunked.”

David Ng
David Ng
Senior reporter covering media, entertainment, and corporate America. Previously, David was with the Los Angeles Times for 12 years, providing comprehensive coverage of the entertainment industry, including investigative pieces on some of LA’s landmark cultural institutions.

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