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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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76.

Carl    

I believe the AI people, but they should put out footage showing her in the audience to put an end to this.

1288 days ago
77.

who-me    

I will be pathetic, thanks. Whatever Angela. Why would you respond if you weren't a fat ass trying to wake up without Doritos fingers?

1288 days ago
78.

Dana    

When I was in the audience last season, half the people in our row were bigger than this girl, and we were in the second row behind the mosh pit (where they put all the sweet, young things).

1288 days ago
79.

LongJohn69    

I hate fatophobes.

1288 days ago
80.

Jessica    

American Idol is suppose to be role models and people and teens look up to them and they discriminate fat people. Everyone is made differently and for some people not all they may have health issues or take certain medicines that make them a little heavier. Is that mean they shouldnt be noticed? Is that mean they shouldnt be able to go to a show and sit in the front seat? It is so sad. Ashley keep your head held high. Stand up for what is right. We got your back.

1288 days ago
81.

busybee    

Everyone is first to blame the "big girl", but apperantly they are all ignorant because if any of you would have noticed her picture at the top of this page she is a beautifull girl. She may not be "the next top model". How many girl's are 5'10 102 lbs? Society has a view of the perfect girl. In reality noone is perfect. She has all right to be upset, " a fun evening out" turned into embarassment caused by another "ignorant" person. If they are that concerned about their audience member's why not audition them too?? I think we all know the answer to this question, why have the blame placed on them when they can fix the problem by ruining a young ladys confidence while still making themselves look like "american idols".

1288 days ago
82.

Jessica    

I am Ashley's sister and it really upset me about what people are saying. This is a true story. How would you feel if this happen to you? They humilated my sister. She is the most good hearted person I know. She is beautiful inside and out. Face it not everyone in America can be 100 pounds. Ashley we have your back and keep fighting back. We love you.

1288 days ago
83.

Sol    

Every taping I've been to, other than David Letterman, has done this. Pretty, skinny people in the front... weird, unattractive or heavy set people farther back. The thing is, I don't think anyone really cares what the audience looks like. That's not why they're watching.

1288 days ago
84.

DetroitRocks    

If the girl was only moved 4 rows back she needs to shut up

1288 days ago
85.

Scrum    

I am Ashley's sister and it really upset me about what people are saying. This is a true story. How would you feel if this happen to you? They humilated my sister. She is the most good hearted person I know. She is beautiful inside and out. Face it not everyone in America can be 100 pounds. Ashley we have your back and keep fighting back. We love you.

Posted at 7:41 PM on Apr 12, 2011 by Jessica


This is a true story? What story? Fat girl complains about free tickets? Wow, can't wait for the movie! Maybe Snooki can get the starring role.

1288 days ago
86.

Muppet    

I think this young girl should've shouted at the top of her lungs about how rude and insulting they were being to her while she was being seated!! I would've let them know right then and there what I thought of them and made dam sure it was caught on cameras all over!!! Time to put an end to this type of discrimination.

1288 days ago
87.

who-me    

Muppet, nice talk. You wouldn't have done **** but watch your fat friend get made fun of because you are a LOSER, allegedly.

1288 days ago
88.

lcmb    

Throwing oats at her the whole show wasn't nice though.

1288 days ago
89.

John Stevens    

Leno, Letterman, Conan all do the same thing as Idol. The young good looking people go up front, and the fatties and fuglies go in the back. I've seen it first hand.
Funny thing is these shows actually suck when you're in the audience, cuz you're just a prop. It's all about TV.

1288 days ago
90.

Caligurl28    

All of you people who are talking about this girl need to take a long hard look in the mirror and realize whether you are pretty or not on the out side you sure are not pretty on the inside and oneday that outside beauty will not be with you any more. Then what will you have an old wrincles face and an ugle soul. Who will want to be with you then? The answer is nobody! You should never judge others for any reason. One day you yourself will be judged.

1288 days ago
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