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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."


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She used to be fat. Now she is fat and stupid.

1234 days ago


Not only is the girl fat at her claimed weight of 150 pounds at 5'2", she is very close to obesity which she would be if 160... pounds. In other words, she is very fat and possibly obese depending on the truthfulness of her weight.

1234 days ago


That girl is not fat. She's very pretty. Idol should be ashamed. They need to fire the people who told her she had to move. That's absurd.

1234 days ago


My lord, you people should be ashamed of yourselves. Putting the Idol issue aside, look at how you are talking about people with weight problems! No wonder depression, low self esteem, eating disorders, and other psychological problems are so high in society. Look at the abuse people get from those who don't even know them!

1234 days ago


Yet another young person that gets scarred from TMZ.
What you people fail to understand, is that this woman didn't want the attention. She will forever be known as "that girl".

TMZ, how did you guys get the lowdown on this groundbreaking story? Inquiring minds want to know.

1234 days ago


No, no, no! They did not move her because she was was because she is ugly and a whiner!

1234 days ago


You got free tickets for 6 people and you still complain? It's not easy to get tickets to Idol and this girl still has the nerve to complain! WTF!!!

1234 days ago


Dark judgemental souls should sit in the back and shutup, we're sick of hearing your noise!
Love and Peace
ps. I watch American idol and I am also a model, but if this is true I will not support hate!
and I totally agree with "dimes" re:If the AI spokesperson is telling the truth, let's see a still shot of this woman "directly in camera shot".

So lets see it eh!

1234 days ago


I think all you people just need to get a life and think of something better to do. Who the hell cares if this girl is over weight. If she`s happy eatting cheese burgers then leave her alone and eat your rice cakes and shut the hell up.

1234 days ago


That happens every time I go. I've been an audience member for numerous shows. They get there audience from On Camera Audience and they always place the best of the best in the front. It doesn't matter what time you arrive. I've waited 4 hours for DWTS and was seated in the balcony when 2 young college girls show up just before air time flaunting breast and get right behind the judges. I've personally seen the coordinators shuffle girls in different directions and split parties to accommodate the skinny ones to the front. Sad but thats how it always will be.

1234 days ago


I know everyday people treat people who are not "pretty, thin, tall, short, muscular" enough badly. Not everyone does that, but a few idiots do. Somehow this story does not ring true to me. I do not watch idol anymore but the details are not adding up.

1234 days ago


I bet every seat in there has within camera shot. Why don't they provide TMZ with a picture of the seating so we can see if she had bad seats or not.

1234 days ago


If that girl is considered fat, then most Americans would be considered hogs. She's beautiful. If Idol discriminated against her, they need to apologize and fire the people who are responsible.

1234 days ago


Another entitled brat who lives in a fantasy world. Too bad she hit a wall of reality.

1234 days ago


I know for a fact that shows "rate" audience members on their looks and the most presentable people get front row or more visible seats. The last show I went to divided their audience members into 4 tiers by marking their tickets with a colored marker when we were lined up for the show. The people with the pink marking were called to go in first, I noticed this was the best looking, best dressed group. Then the blues went in, then the next group and the next group. The last group were the badly dressed, the older people and the fatties. I looked like crap when I got there, was bundled up with my winter hat, winter boots and glasses. After I got in, I took of my winter gear and glasses and put on a pair of high heels. Guess what, after I "transformed" a seat in the front row opened up for me when I had previously been delegated to the back.
At least be honest about it, American Idol, and don't feel guilty because all the shows do it. In the world of movies and television looks are everything.

1234 days ago
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