As a reality star, Donald J. Trump turned “The Apprentice” into a television success. As president-elect, he may be costing it money. Kawasaki, the Japanese motoring company, said on Wednesday that it would drop its sponsorship of “The New Celebrity Apprentice” on NBC as long as Mr. Trump retained his involvement in the show.
The company’s decision came after it was featured by #GrabYourWallet, a grass-roots online campaign to boycott companies with ties to Mr. Trump, his family and his political donors.
The new version of “The Apprentice,” now starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, debuted this month to tepid ratings. Although he is no longer featured on-screen, Mr. Trump retained his executive producer credit and is continuing to earn income through his partnership with the show’s producer, Mark Burnett.
A segment featuring Kawasaki was broadcast on Monday’s episode. A Kawasaki spokesman, Kevin Allen, said that the company had never been informed that Mr. Trump was keeping his role as executive producer. The segment, Mr. Allen said, quickly generated concern from Kawasaki customers and dealers.
“We along with many other Americans feel that there should be a separation between our president and the media,” Mr. Allen said in an interview on Wednesday. He said that Kawasaki had decided not to participate in future seasons, unless Mr. Trump severed ties with the program.
The move is a win for the #GrabYourWallet list, which was started in October by Shannon Coulter, a branding strategist in California, as a boycott of companies owned by Mr. Trump’s daughter Ivanka.
Ms. Coulter has since expanded her list, which she maintains at GrabYourWallet.org, to include dozens of corporations with financial ties to Mr. Trump and donors to his presidential campaign. The online retailer Shoes.com dropped the Ivanka Trump brand, and L.L. Bean has come under fire for one of its board member’s support of Mr. Trump. Ms. Coulter’s running list of companies to boycott has been shared hundreds of times on social media.
“I’m not surprised to see well-respected brands like Kawasaki backing away from ‘The New Celebrity Apprentice,’” Ms. Coulter said in a statement on Wednesday. “With so many conflicts of interest between his own personal bottom line and the public good, I think the Trump name is just bad for brands in general right now.”
NBC declined to comment on Wednesday. A representative for Mr. Burnett’s production company, which negotiates sponsorship deals for the show, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.