The only thing more offensive than all the content warnings that have suddenly sprung up all over TV as a means of placating those ever-more-jackbooted thugs at the FCC (isn’t that what the stupid little ratings boxes were for?) is the way NBC is using its Apprentice website to solicit challenge ideas for the next two seasons. Guess what the grand prize is if your idea makes it to the air?

A. A free trip to New York where Donald will personally fire you

B. The piece of plaster that fell on Omarosa’s head

C. A date with stern, hypercritical Trump toady Carolyn

D. A pallet of Trump Ice

Actually, the grand prize is… get ready… absolutely nothing! That’s right. No compensation. No mention in the credits. Not even a call from Jeff Zucker thanking you for saving him the five dollars an hour or whatever they would’ve paid to hire an extra non-guild staff writer to come up with these ideas for them. That’s right. This isn’t a promotion at all. NBC is looking for regular folks willing to do its job for them at a cost of no more and no less than zilch.

Just so there’s no confusion, the website offers this scarier-than-Trump’s-hairpiece rights waiver to potential submitters:

If you submit task ideas to “Suggest a Task,” you are granting NBC and the producers of “The Apprentice” a world-wide, royalty free, perpetual, irrevocable and non-exclusive license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt and publish your submitted Tasks in “The Apprentice.” You are also granting NBC and the producers a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive and fully sublicensable right and license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display your Tasks (in whole or part) worldwide and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media, or technology now known or later developed.

Cheap and exploitative? Absolutely. But you have to admit, it’s a shrewd business move. After all, amateurs have been writing ER scripts for years now.

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