Details of the incident are still unclear. According to a source with knowledge of the situation, Burnett and Arnold arrived at the event held at the Lawn at Century Park at around 9:30 p.m. As both men were walking into the event, a scuffle ensued. A source with knowledge of the situation said it involved shoving but it was unclear who made the first move. Arnold claimed Burnett tried to choke him.
Arnold has been publicly bashing Burnett for months over Arnold’s insistence that the producer is protecting President Donald Trump by refusing to release outtakes from “The Apprentice” in which Trump allegedly uses racial slurs and makes other disturbing comments. Burnett executive produced the series, and Trump hosted.
Arnold is hosting a reality series for Viceland dubbed “The Hunt for the Trump Tapes,” which premieres Tuesday.
According to a source, the scuffle was quickly broken up by security at the Evening Before event. Both men were allowed to enter the party after settling down.
Arnold is threatening to report the incident to Los Angeles police. Roma Downey, who is married to Burnett, said via Twitter that she received a bruise on her hand when Arnold “tried to ambush Mark and me.” Arnold responded with a threat to sue Downey for defamation.
The Evening Before party was packed with a who’s who of the TV industry. The incident happened quickly near the entrance to the expansive party space. One attendee who was within earshot of the scuffle said Arnold could be heard challenging Burnett regarding the outtakes of “Apprentice.”
Arnold tweeted later that documentary filmmaker Bryan Fogel, who won the feature documentary Oscar this year for “Icarus,” was with him during the scuffle and “has tape.”
Burnett, who is also chairman of MGM Television, and Downey could not immediately be reached for comment late Sunday night.
Burnett and MGM, which owns the “Apprentice” franchise, have asserted in the past that the studio does not have the legal right to release outtakes and unused footage from the show. Even if they could, it would be logistically difficult to make hundreds of hours of raw footage available for scrutiny.