Are gay people welcome on American Idol?

One would think a show about singing competition hosted by a metrosexual Queen of West Hollywood would be pretty gay friendly, but “homosexuality may not be as welcome on America’s most popular TV show” as it is in theatres, TMZ reports.

Among other examples, TMZ.com notes that, during American Idol 5’s auditions, Randy Jackson asked a male contestant, “Are you a girl?” and Simon Cowell told a different male contestant, “I don’t mean this disrespectfully… shave off your beard and wear a dress.” And we haven’t even yet gotten to the part where Simon and Ryan Seacrest exchange gay insults, although FOX reportedly stopped those.

GLAAD tells TMZ.com that it “is reaching out to the show’s producers to discuss our concerns — and the concerns of community members and allies — who have contacted us about this matter.” But an executive producer of Extra, who is apparently an expert, says, “The critics totally miss the point. No one is exempt from the razor tongues of all three judges.”

Jim Verraros, the show’s only openly gay finalist, agrees that there’s a problem. “I honestly think that if I had come out [as gay] while I was on the show, FOX would’ve edited it out,” he said.

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