The Apprentice 2022 in bullying scandal as two candidates report fellow contestant
Navid says he was left in tears after a candidate ‘made his life hell’
The Apprentice is in the centre of a bullying row, as two 2022 candidates have reported another contestant for their behaviour. Navid Sole, who was fired last week, claims someone insulted him, made him cry and “made his life hell” whilst filming was taking place.
The 27-year-old pharmacist claims producers on the show refused to help him after the alleged incident which left him begging to swap rooms in the house the candidates share. He claims he was called a “snake” and a “clown” after a failed task, but the scenes weren’t aired on the show.
According to the Mirror, Navid said: “We were in the losers’ café and I encountered bullying which felt encouraged by some of the other contestants. They were gang-handed. It was terrible the way I was spoken to. The person was calling me a clown, a snake. I felt they had a problem because I wasn’t more of a lad, but that’s not me – I’m a soft, sensitive person who wants to get along with everyone. It reminded me of the backlash I got at school and college when I was bullied.
“They were rude to everyone. Two others were sniggering. I was shocked and upset. I was crying really heavily, the intensity was crazy. The other contestants saw that I felt uncomfortable. When producers saw I was in pain they put the camera in front of me rather than saying, ‘He’s upset, we should intervene’. Nobody thought to give me a break even though it was clear I was really hurting. That moral support wasn’t there. The episode was edited to show me drinking coffee when actually I was in distress. I watched it alone and cried because it gave me flashbacks.”
Navid says producers did not step in, and The Mirror reports Navid added: “There were two or three times I wanted to hurt myself because I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to share these feelings with the producers because I was scared they would eliminate me from the process. The bullying affected my performance on the whole show.
“I went to the house and cried to myself because I felt like nobody else was helping. I was worried other contestants would think I was weak by crying. Bullying is a serious thing. It is a cut-throat industry but I didn’t sign up to the show expecting this. Some contestants bully others or try to affect them mentally by looking for the weakest contestant and exploiting that. The others saw what was happening but were scared to speak up. It’s not an open environment. I regret going on. I did not show 100 per cent of my ability and it affected my wellbeing.” According to The Mirror, the BBC was not made aware of Navid’s intent to hurt himself.
It’s claimed fellow contestant Harry Mahmood has also reported the same person for “rude and aggressive behaviour”. He told The Mirror: “My bone of contention was the way they spoke to me – with aggression, anger. They kept attacking me and singling me out. Nav started crying based on the way [the contestant] was talking to him. Myself and another contestant said don’t cry, but nobody stopped filming until someone said, ‘That’s enough now guys, moving on’. When I got fired I mentioned to a member of the team that I was not happy with how this person spoke to me – it was rude and aggressive. They said they’d speak to them.”
In a statement provided to PA, a spokesperson for The Apprentice said the allegation are “unsubstantiated”. The statement read: “The wellbeing of the candidates who take part in The Apprentice is of paramount importance. Thorough and robust duty of care protocols are in place which include an experienced network of support for candidates who are in regular contact before, during and after filming. All contributors agreed to a code of conduct which was put in place from the outset in order to protect and prioritise their welfare. These allegations are unsubstantiated and do not reflect the measures put in place to look after the candidates.”