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GLAAD responds to
Idol slurs

GLAAD responds to
Idol slurs

American Idol judges made disparaging remarks to two effeminate male contestants.

The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation is "reaching out" to the producers of American Idol after the show's judges made disparaging remarks to two effeminate male contestants during the first week of the popular Fox sing-off's latest season.

During a round of auditions in Chicago, judge Simon Cowell, notorious for his caustic and catty comments, told Idol wannabe Charles Berry to "shave off your beard and wear a dress." And during auditions in Denver, fellow judge Randy Jackson took a jab at another effeminate male contestant, asking Zachary Travis, "Are you a girl?"

GLAAD is calling for a meeting with the show's producers "to discuss our concerns and the concerns of community members and allies who have contacted us about this matter," stated entertainment media director Damon Romine. "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."

This isn't the first time American Idol has been accused of homophobic outbursts. The on-air insults tossed between host Ryan Seacrest and Cowell often involve jokes implying that the other is gay. And in a final-episode skit where Cowell imagines making out with judge Paula Abdul, he wakes up, much to his horror, in bed with Randy Jackson. (

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