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'American Idol' -- We Don't Discriminate!

4/12/2011 5:58 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

The honchos at "American Idol" are scoffing at the claim of an audience member who says she was banished to the back of the studio because she was "just too big, too heavy to be in front."

American Idol

Manfred Westphal, who heads up communications for Fremantle (which produces "Idol"), tells TMZ, 19-year-old Ashley Kauffman and her party of 6 were some of the first audience members to arrive for the April 7, 2011 show.  Westphal says, "Our audience coordinator explained they had 6 great seats on the floor; however, the seats were in 2 groups of 3."

Westphal says Kauffman and her party agreed to be split up.  And, Westphal says, contrary to Kauffman's allegation, she was not sent alone to the back of the studio.  Westphal says Kauffman and 2 others in her party were seated 4 rows behind their friends, "directly in camera shot, in some of the best seats in the house."

Westphal says, "At 'American Idol,' we always strive to assure that every audience member has the best experience possible, and these allegations are simply untrue."


110 COMMENTS

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1.

dimes    

If the AI spokesperson is telling the truth, let's see a still shot of this woman "directly in camera shot".

1259 days ago
2.

Chris    

They wanted to give Ashley floor seats because they noticed she's a whale.

1259 days ago
3.

TXLady    

Somebody always wants to scream discrimination when they don't get what they want.

Darn it, I didn't win the lottery last week so I guess they must have discriminated against ME!! Who can I sue??

1259 days ago
4.

M.    

I wouldn't call her fat

1259 days ago
5.

Big Daddy    

Was there a more comfortable seat in the parking lot for her? Or needed the room for the cars? Lots of questions.

1259 days ago
6.

terry    

Maybe this Porkenstein should stay away from the trough..19 yrs. old and obese?? imagine what this pig will look like at 40...

1259 days ago
7.

reenypie77    

God, rough crowd. What's wrong with you people? I bet TampaJoey and Chris aren't nearly as attractive as the wart on the bottom of her foot. Get a life peeps. Not everyone is a 10!

1259 days ago
8.

Jen    

Yea right, anyone in the biz knows that only the best looking will appear on screen. Fatty had to go to the back. That is the way it is. Her and her dad need to shut their pie holes and deal with reality and stay the F out of Hollywood.

1259 days ago
9.

davidbowie    

Every show does this with their audience. They save the front seats (or the ones that are mostly shot) for the attractive people.

1259 days ago
10.

LBjim    

That is how it is in Hollywood. The beautiful people are in the front and get the TV time. That is just the way it is....

1259 days ago
11.

Birdsht    

Its entertainment Miss Piggy. Just as in person noone watching tv wants to oogle at your dark clothing covered mystery torso

1259 days ago
12.

Landshark    

Well they show that Fat Cow J-Lo on camera so they obviously dont discriminate against fat chicks..

1259 days ago
13.

Yidmash    

if you put her up front she would look huge or bigger than she is so small people look bigger is put in the front role and bigger people look smaller if used as backdrop untill any shadows are cast as in bev/hills niji farley`s shadow was huge and sold major box numbers.If she was not on camera than it would be a lejet battle but she is workin as a extra on set on camera and they can place her in a garbage truck if thats waht sells the show

1259 days ago
14.

Kat    

American Idol doing something like that does not surprise me.I think the guy who talked about all audiences doing that is correct. I think I remember Simon joking about not wanting a heavier contestant because he did not think the show could pay the food bill.

1259 days ago
15.

spyke    

First of all, I am not exactly a beanpole myself but I get so tired of fat people complaining about discrimination. Yes, it sucks to be fat, yes morbid obesity is often a hereditary condition and yes, some people are just more prone to store fat than others, especially in women, it's an evolutionary fact, but there are so many options for fighting it. Ironic isn't it that the show Jennifer Hudson first became famous on is the show this fat girl is complaining about? Seems to me that Hudson joined Weigh****chers and look at her now, she looks utterly fabulous and that's after childbirth no less. I'm no proponent of WW but whatever works. If this girl is happy with her size then more power to her but she shouldn't be complaining about discrimination just because she doesn't exercise or lay off the freakin french fries and gravy.

1259 days ago
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