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Civil Rights and Plus-Sized Groups Weigh In

1/24/2006 4:32 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

More civil rights groups are jumping into the fray over allegations that 'American Idol' is not only cruel to gays, but overweight people as well.


TMZ has learned that 'American Idol' judge Simon Cowell's snipes at overweight contestants have drawn the ire of the National Assn. to Advance Fat Acceptance (NAAFA).

"Discrimination against fat people seems to be one of the last acceptable prejudices," says Peggy Howell, NAAFA'S public-relations chairperson. "I have mixed feelings about 'American Idol.' We saw how far Ruben Studdard has gone because of the show. However, Simon Cowell continues to make rude remarks about overweight and obese contestants."

In tonight's episode, Cowell stokes the coals with this comment to a male contestant dressed in green: "You look like the Incredible Hulk's wife."

TMZ first reported last week that the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) had concerns over how FOX's 'American Idol' ridiculed certain contestants on the show based on their gender appearance and presumed sexuality. GLAAD spokesperson Damon Romine says, "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."


Cowell seems to echo the sentiments of GLAAD. He told the television show 'EXTRA' in an interview airing today: "It's the edit. It's the way the show's been edited 'cause I was actually very nice this year."

Indeed, if Cowell's comments were out of line, FOX had the option of keeping them a secret. Instead, FOX chose to showcase the remarks in the heavily-edited show.

Cowell has expressed regret about one comment. In an episode that aired last week, he quipped about a performance by an overweight contestant: "Do we have a bigger stage this year?"

Cowell told 'EXTRA' after that 'Idol' episode aired, "I must admit on that one I did feel bad. I was just in a bad mood."

Bad mood or not, some think there's no excuse for fat insults on the show.

"Simon is always saying that an overweight person doesn't fit the image of what an 'American Idol' should be," NAAFA spokesperson Howell says. "But many Americans are overweight, so the people at 'American Idol' should rethink what a winner can look like."

The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) says it believes that 'American Idol' is a prime example of how minority groups are inaccurately portrayed in the media. CORE national spokesperson Niger Innis tells TMZ, "'American Idol' is part of an entertainment culture that often makes blacks look like a bunch of clowns."

Representatives for FOX and 'American Idol' did not respond to TMZ's requests for comment.

GLAAD Media Awards Nominations Announced

1/24/2006 3:37 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

Park City, Utah -- Yesterday at a press conference at the Queer Lounge in Park City, Utah, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) announced the nominees for its 17th Annual GLAAD Media Awards Presented by ABSOLUT VODKA.  

The GLAAD Media Awards recognize and honor mainstream media for their fair, accurate and inclusive representations of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and the issues that affect their lives.


The GLAAD Media Awards ceremonies will be held in New York on March 27, 2006 at the New York Marriott Marquis; in Los Angeles on April 8 at the Kodak Theatre; in Miami on May 25 at the Ritz Carlton Hotel; and in San Francisco on June 10 at the San Francisco Marriott.


For the second consecutive year, the GLAAD Media Awards will be televised on Logo, MTV Networks' cable channel for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender viewers and their allies. This year, VH1 will air the program for the first time. The Logo airdate for the GLAAD Media Awards is April 15, 2006 at 9 p.m. (ET/PT). The VH1 airdate is April 16 at 11 p.m. (ET/PT).


OUTSTANDING FILM - WIDE RELEASE

Brokeback Mountain (Focus Features)
Capote (Sony Pictures Classics)
The Family Stone (20th Century Fox)
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (Warner Bros.)
Rent (Sony Pictures)

OUTSTANDING FILM - LIMITED RELEASE

Beautiful Boxer (Regent Releasing/here! Films)
Mysterious Skin (TLA Releasing)
Saving Face (Sony Pictures Classics)
Transamerica (The Weinstein Company)
Walk On Water (Samuel Goldwyn Films)

OUTSTANDING DOCUMENTARY

American Experience: Kinsey (PBS)
Middle Sexes: Redefining He and She (HBO)
Same Sex America (Showtime)
TransGeneration (The Sundance Channel/Logo)
We Are Dad (Showtime)

OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES

Commander in Chief (ABC)
The L Word (Showtime)
Queer as Folk (Showtime)
Six Feet Under (HBO)
South of Nowhere (The N)

OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES

Out of Practice (CBS)
Shameless (BBC America)
Will & Grace (NBC)

OUTSTANDING INDIVIDUAL EPISODE (in a series without a regular gay character)

"Alien" Law & Order: SVU (NBC)
"Best Friends" Cold Case (CBS)
"Pilot" My Name Is Earl (NBC)
"Someone's in the Kitchen with Daddy" What I Like About You (The WB)
"Transitions" Without a Trace (CBS)

OUTSTANDING TELEVISION MOVIE OR MINI-SERIES

The Long Firm (BBC America)
Partner(s) (Lifetime)

OUTSTANDING REALITY PROGRAM

The Amazing Race 7 (CBS)
America's Next Top Model 5 (UPN)
"Boone Luffey/Gillespie" Wife Swap (ABC)
Queer Eye (Bravo)
"Straight/Gay" 30 Days (FX)

OUTSTANDING DAILY DRAMA

General Hospital (ABC)
Passions (NBC)

OUTSTANDING TALK SHOW EPISODE

"Fighting for My Children" Dr. Phil (syndicated)
"Twins: Identical But Different" The Montel Williams Show (syndicated)
"When I Knew I Was Gay" The Oprah Winfrey Show (syndicated)
"When Your Identical Twin Has a Sex Change" The Oprah Winfrey Show (syndicated)

OUTSTANDING TV JOURNALISM - NEWSMAGAZINE

"Becoming Diane" 20/20 (ABC)
"Gay Rodeo" Only In America (Discovery Times Channel)
"Lady Lions: Alleged Discrimination" Outside the Lines (ESPN)
"Lucky" Dateline NBC (NBC)
"The Mirror" Nightline (ABC)

OUTSTANDING TV JOURNALISM - NEWS SEGMENT

"Andrew Goldstein" ESPN SportsCenter (ESPN)
"Coming Out" Live From... (CNN)
"Peter Hams" ESPN SportsCenter (ESPN)
"School Outing" Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN)
"Secret Sex Lives" Anderson Cooper 360 (CNN)

OUTSTANDING NEWSPAPER ARTICLE

"A House Divided" by Laura Bond (Westword)
"The New Radical" by Kim Martineau (The Hartford Courant)
"Paradise Lost" by Michelle Boorstein (The Washington Post)
"The Stewards of Gay Washington" by Anne Hull (The Washington Post)
"When an Employee Switches Gender, What's a Company to Do?" by Stephanie Armour (USA Today)

OUTSTANDING NEWSPAPER COLUMNIST

Marta Donayre (El Observador)
Margery Eagan (Boston Herald)
Mark Morford (San Francisco Chronicle)
Andy Praschak (The San Juan Star)
Deb Price (The Detroit News)

OUTSTANDING NEWSPAPER OVERALL COVERAGE

San Francisco Chronicle
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
USA Today
The Washington Post
Wisconsin State-Journal

OUTSTANDING MAGAZINE ARTICLE

"A Down Low Dirty Shame" by Joshunda Sanders (Bitch)
"For the Soul of the Church" by Ethan Vesely-Flad (Color Lines)
"The Gay Rodeo Rides Again" by Michael Joseph Gross (Details)
"The Murder of a Boy Named Gwen" by Bob Moser (Rolling Stone)
"What's in a Name?" by Beth Greenfield (Time Out New York)

OUTSTANDING MAGAZINE OVERALL COVERAGE

AsianWeek
Newsweek
People
Time
Time Out New York

OUTSTANDING DIGITAL JOURNALISM ARTICLE

"Debajo del Arcoiris" by Emily Alpert (IntheFray.com)
"Gender Outlaws" by Emily Alpert (IntheFray.com)
"The Lowdown on the Downlow" by Bruce Dixon (BlackCommentator.com)
"Now I Get to be Like Everybody Else" by Greg Garber (ESPN.com)
"Turning Off Gays" by Mark Benjamin (Salon.com)

OUTSTANDING MUSIC ARTIST

Antony and the Johnsons, I Am a Bird Now
Melissa Etheridge, Greatest Hits: The Road Less Traveled
Girlyman, Little Star
Sharon Isbin, Rodrigo, Villa-Lobos, Ponce: Guitar Concertos
Amy Ray, Prom

OUTSTANDING COMIC BOOK

Gotham Central by Greg Rucka and Ed Brubaker (DC Comics)
Strangers in Paradise by Terry Moore (Abstract Studio)
Top Ten: The Forty-Niners by Alan Moore (ABC Comics/Wildstorm)
Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughn (Vertigo/DC Comics)
Young Avengers by Allan Heinberg (Marvel)

OUTSTANDING ADVERTISING - ELECTRONIC

"Cupid" MTVu
"Guy Watcher" Diet Pepsi
"New Boyfriend" Orbitz
"Signs" MTVu

OUTSTANDING ADVERTISING - PRINT

"Partnership Registry" ABC Carpet and Home
"So What's Cooking in the Kitchen?" GE Monogram
"There's One." American Express

OUTSTANDING LOS ANGELES THEATER

Bunbury by Tom Jacobson
I Am My Own Wife by Doug Wright
Porcelain by Chay Yew
A Pebble in My Shoe: The Life and Times of John Shelby Spong by Colin Cox
Pera Palas by Sinan Unel

OUTSTANDING NEW YORK THEATER: BROADWAY & OFF - BROADWAY

Border/Clash: A Litany of Desire by Staceyann Chin
The Color Purple book by Marsha Norman, based on the novel by Alice Walker
Ghetto Superstar (The Man That I Am) by Billy Porter
Oedipus at Palm Springs by The Five Lesbian Brothers
Swimming in the Shallows by Adam Bock

OUTSTANDING NEW YORK THEATER: OFF - OFF BROADWAY

Busted Jesus Comix by David Johnston
Christine Jorgensen Reveals created by Bradford Louryk
Dress Suits to Hire by Holly Hughes in collaboration with Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver
Golden Age by Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa
The Lightning Field by David Ozanich

SPECIAL RECOGNITION

"First Day of My Life," Bright Eyes music video, dir. John Cameron Mitchell

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