Viewers of The Apprentice were appalled after the first episode aired on Thursday night, which saw Sir Alan Sugar jet contestants off to the sunny shores of the Caribbean.
As we’re all painfully aware, the cost of living crisis has left millions struggling to survive, with many families having to choose whether to heat their homes or eat, something no one should have to do in the 21st century.
But that fact, unsurprisingly, didn’t cross the mind of billionaire Alan Sugar when it came to choosing his contestant’s first task. As a result, he ended up making the most “tone deaf” decision fans have ever seen.
Last night, viewers were introduced to eighteen fresh faces that would all compete to win Sugar’s approval, mentorship, and ultimately his £250,000 business investment prize money.
It kicked off season seventeen of the hit BBC show, and fans were eager to see what the first task would be. However, no one was prepared for what Sugar did next.
After all the pleasantries were out of the way, Lord Sugar announced that the contestants would be going on a luxury trip to the Caribbean.
He announced, much to the surprise of the viewers at home: “Ok. Let’s get down to business. I’m picking things off with the ultimate task. I’m sending you to the magnificent Caribbean island of Antigua.”
Understandably, the entrepreneurs were shocked by the proposal, with many looking totally gobsmacked that they would be flown, cost-free, to the Caribbean.
“Pre Covid the tourism industry was booming,” Sugar continued. “But obviously, things were decimated by the pandemic.
“But the world’s now open for business and it’s on its way back. Your task is to set up and run a bespoke tour.”
He added that their main responsibility, while out enjoying the sunny shores, was to sell tickets, ensuring clients have an “unforgettable” experience on their chosen tours.
Now, this wasn’t exactly what viewers were expecting, and with everything going on in the world, many criticized the show for sending them abroad when people can barely afford to heat their homes.
One viewer wrote on Twitter: “#TheApprentice I know, there’s a cost of living crisis so what’s the most tone-deaf thing I could do? Pay for everyone to go to the Caribbean.”
And it’s clear to see they weren’t alone in thinking this, as dozens of other viewers also took to social media to vent their frustrations, not only at the task but at the irony that Sugar was hounding the importance of “good value.”
“In uncertain times with the cost of living speech, blah blah blah…You are off to Antigua in episode 1,” a second tweeted.
Several others shared how shocking it was to see the show so nonchalantly drop in such an expensive trip during the cost of living crisis.
‘There’s a cost of living crisis. Anyway, off you go to the Caribbean!,’ a third wrote.
With another adding: “Love how at the start of The Apprentice they make a point of playing up the economic troubles, cost of living crisis, etc…then five minutes later they’ve shipped 18 morons and a production crew off to Antigua at the license payer’s expense.”