Tom Arnold claims Mark Burnett ‘choked’ him at Emmys party
Actor Tom Arnold and reality producer Mark Burnett got into a physical altercation at a pre-Emmys party Sunday night, according to multiple reports in the trades and across social media.
The duo were entering the Evening Before the Emmys event in West Los Angeles when Arnold ran into Burnett. Which man started the confrontation is unclear, with both sides claiming the other party was the aggressor.
Arnold accused Burnett on Twitter of going “apes–t” and “choked me at this huge Emmy party.”
Whereas Burnett’s wife, Roma Downey, said Arnold “tried to ambush my husband” and posted a picture that she claimed was a bruise on her hand from the confrontation.
Arnold has an upcoming show for Vice called The Hunt for the Trump Tapes. He’s been on a quest to convince Burnett to release supposedly incriminating backstage footage of Donald Trump from his years hosting Burnett’s The Apprentice and railing against the producer in the press.
How I Met Your Mother actress Alyson Hannigan said she witnessed the event — and that Survivor host Jeff Probst tried to stop the madness:
Potentially backing up Roma Downey’s claim that her and her husband were “ambushed,” Arnold previously told Salon that he planned to confront Burnett at the Emmys. “They’re really worried about me being anywhere near him. I’m like , ‘What about the country guys?’ … I’m definitely going to do something at the Emmys.”
In July, Arnold went off on Burnett at a press event for his new show. “I love Mark Burnett, by the way, [Trump’s] buddy who sits at the prayer breakfast with him, that created this guy, this fake, that people in Iowa — where I’m from — think is this genius businessman from TV,” Arnold said. “I’d like him to stand up and say, ‘actually, we had to cut out all the lies and sexual harassment and the insanity and the incompetence, we had to cut all that out.’ That’s the tape I want. One 12-hour day of Trump Tower in that boardroom. That’s what I want. I want to show America that. I’m going to keep hammering Mark Burnett until he shows America …. Mark Burnett says he’s a Christian? And he lets that man do all this bulls—, and he’s in this town, and he’s making money, and he let a sexual harasser work on his show? … These people are so racist and crazy.”
The Trump Tapes received additional attention in recent weeks after former White House staffer and Apprentice star Omarosa Manigault Newman claimed in her new book, Unhinged, that Trump used the N-word several times on the set of the NBC series. Burnett has resisted efforts to compel him to release any alleged tapes, claiming he “does not have the ability nor the right to release footage or other material from The Apprentice.”
Somewhere, you can bet a team of writers are trying to figure out the best joke to make about this during Colin Jost and Michael Che’s opening monologue at the Emmys tonight.