Is “American Idol” homophobic?
The Fox talent show elicited a response from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) after judges Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson made what the gay rights group deemed questionable comments on last week’s premiere episode.
On Tuesday’s show, seen by a Nielsen-chart topping 35.5 million viewers, Cowell told one male contestant to “wear a dress” and Jackson asked another, “are you a girl?”
“The real offense here was in the producer’s decision to add insult to injury by turning a contestant’s gender expression into the butt of a joke,” said Damon Ramine, a spokesman for GLAAD, in a statement posted on the group’s Web site.
Ramine updated the situation Monday with another statement: “We’ve spoken with Fox and have entered into what we hope will be a productive, ongoing conversation about the show’s representation and discussion of sexual orientation and gender expression.”
A spokesman for “American Idol” said Monday that Fox had no comment.
The popular Fox show, now in its fifth season, airs Tuesdays, 8 p.m. ET.