Everyone from Adam Lambert to The Voice's Adam Levine have this summer attacked the lack of gay pride on American Idol, but reality-show producer Nigel Lythgoe has had enough. So, what does Nigel have to say about the claims that American Idol tries to cover-up the sexuality of its contestants?
Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Nigel is flabbergasted by the attacks and wonders why anyone cares about who a singing competition contestant sleeps with.
I didn’t understand why we’re talking about contestants being gay or not gay. I don’t go into my dentist and say, “Are you gay?” I don’t say to contestants on So You Think You Can Dance, “Are you gay?”
What does it got to do with me? What does it got to do with anybody? When does privacy stop in this country?
If somebody wants to say they’re gay, it’s up to them. You don’t expect us to turn around and say, “Are you gay?” Why would we do that? — “By the way, he’s a Catholic and he supports Obama and here’s his sexuality” — what does that have anything to do with singing talent? Maybe it does for Adam Levine, but not for me.
The response comes on the heels of hottie Voice judge Adam Levine telling The Wrap back in June that "other shows" (we all know which ones he means) could be "similarly gay friendly." "They should be," the Maroon 5 singer added. "I don't know why they ever weren't."
During his high-glamour VH1 Behind the Music special, American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert accused the show of forcing him to keep his sexuality closeted until the season wrapped.
"It was hard for me because I wasn't able to talk about it," Adam said. "Technically on Idol, you can't do any interviews individually until you're out of the show. It felt very out of control, and feeling out of control is scary."
Nigel took a moment of his EW interview to respond to this as well, saying, "He must have come out before being on Idol, he just didn’t talk about it on Idol."
The reality TV competition producer is no stranger to being called a homophobe. While judging a 2009 audition on his other show, So You Think You Can Dance, Nigel was obviously disgusted by two men dancing together.
“I think you’d probably alienate a lot of our audience," Nigel told the same-sex pair. "We’ve always had the guys dance together on the show, but they’ve never really done it in each other’s arm’s before. I’m certainly one of those people that really like to see guys be guys and girls be girls on stage."
Did Nigel successfully clear up those accusations for you?
(Image source: The Mirror)