Gay Suit Tossed

By Neal Broverman

Originally published on Advocate.com June 24 2011 2:25 PM ET

With harsh words directed toward both American Idol and a gay contestant accusing the show of sexual harassment, a New York federal judge threw out Ian Benardo's claim against the Fox reality show.

Benardo, 30, says Idol producers asked him to “gay it up” when he appeared on the show in 2010 (he also appeared in 2006 and 2007). In his suit Benardo also claims Idol employees hurled gay epithets at him, including “fag” and “homo.” Judge Colleen McMahon said Benardo knew the nature of the show, especially by his third appearance.

“He, like everyone else with a modicum of talent (or less) who auditions for American Idol, chose to appear on a program that was famous for its judges insulting behavior toward the lame, the halt and the talentless, knowing full well what was coming — if only because he had experienced it before,” McMahon wrote. “Benardo went on air after being told what was expected of him, and he knew full well what to expect. Having volunteered to be insulted, he cannot now claim that he was sexually harassed.”

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