The Apprentice’s Shazia Hussain opens up about dealing with “atrocious” bullying on the show by her co-stars.
Chatting to hosts Bobby Norris and Stephen Leng on the showbiz gossip programme Access All Areas, the reality star spoke candidly about feeling attacked during one of the show’s tasks: “After the Yogita task I was being trolled. There were a lot of incidents that happened during that task that weren’t shown in the final edit. I don’t know how they did it, but they edited it really well for the candidates that were involved in the bullying. It was actually atrocious what happened… You’re not allowed to just bully someone based on race, sex, gender or neurodiversity. This is not allowed. Even if this is the BBC I’m not going to be bullied!”
She continued: “There’s a lot of silencing that’s involved in that show. They were not educated about diversity and inclusion. Many of the candidates did not know what diversity and inclusion was outside of short and tall. An investigation was still going on when I was fired.”
Later in the interview, the businesswoman also went on to criticise The Apprentice for its lack of inclusivity for neurodiverse people: “There were gaps within The Apprentice and the way that its produced and there were many things that weren’t in place for somebody like me. I have a poor performing working memory which basically means I need pens and notepads everywhere. I’m like a goldfish. I need to be able to write things down… I didn’t have access to a pen or a notepad throughout the time that I was there, and I wasn’t able to function in there.”
She continued: “As a woman of colour with neurodiversity, one of the reasons why it was so important for me to go onto a show like that was to showcase a varied representation of women. A lot of people want to be seen to be talking about neurodiversity and say, “we champion neurodiverse people” but creating the correct environments for people like me to be able to flourish is really important.”
Listen to the full episode, also featuring Cynthia Taiwo, Olivia Bowen and Alex Bowen here