"I loved every second of working with NBC and Mark Burnett. Everyone — form the celebrities to the crew to the marketing department — was a straight 10," Schwarzenegger told THR. "I would absolutely work with all of them again on a show that doesn't have this baggage. NBC did everything they could to promote the show and [producer] Mark Burnett did a fantastic job. No one really knew that this was going to happen and I think that everyone was caught off guard.”
Variety reports that ratings were down this season, as well, which could be another reason that Schwarzenegger turned in his resignation letter. The former California governor attributes some of that to Trump's continued involvement with the show. During campaign season, Trump had stated that he'd remove himself as executive producer, but that never transpired.
“Even if asked [to do it again] I would decline. With Trump being involved in the show, people have a bad taste and don't want to participate as a spectator or as a sponsor or in any other way support the show. It's a very divisive period now and I think this show got caught up in all that division," Schwarzenegger said diplomatically in an interview with Empire magazine. "It's not about the show [...] because everyone I ran into came up to me and said, 'I love the show [...] but I turned it off because as soon as I read Trump's name. I’m outta there!'"