Idol Audience Member Tells GMA Her Story of Discrimination, But Has No Eyewitnesses

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Ashley Kauffmann and her dad were on GMA this morning to recount how she was told by Idol staff last week that she was too fat to sit in the front row.

Interestingly, Hannah Solarzano, a girl who was part of Ashley’s group tells the AP that she didn’t hear any insults directed at her:

“Nobody started talking about the comment that was supposedly made to Ashley until she brought it up,” Solarzano said. “I never heard those words except from her.”

While she couldn’t support her account, Solarzano said, it obviously stings to be labeled as overweight.

“You don’t call a girl ‘fat,’ ever. It’s code,” Solarzano said. “I understand how upsetting that can be. But, c’mon, honey, it’s ‘American Idol.’ You’ve got to move on from there. Big deal.”

According to Idol, Ashley was seated only 3 rows behind her friends, in a section that is often on camera. The lack of eyewitnesses to her alleged mistreatment puts Ashley’s story in question.

Watch the news reports after the jump.

Video after the JUMP…

Ashley Kauffman – Too Fat to Sit in the Front Row?

‘Idol’ denies claim of audience weight bias

 
  • ross

    How would the girl ever make that story stick when Idol has its highly paid spin doctors, publicists, lawyers, whomever, working overtime to prove it never happened? Anyway, I’m glad she brought attention to the discrimination.

  • just sayin

    I think she’s full of crap. AI people are not stupid enough to say that out loud, whether they feel that way or not. Shame on GMA for giving her a spotlight.

  • SpenserJ

    I think she’s full of crap. AI people are not stupid enough to say that out loud, whether they feel that way or not. Shame on GMA for giving her a spotlight.

    I’m not buying it either. Mostly because initially, the only press she could get to even print her story was a notorious British tabloid. And, now even the friend who was with her can’t verify her account. If she hires a lawyer and starts looking for a payday for this “discrimination”, then we’ll know for sure what her angle was.

  • Buffynut

    just sayin says:
    04/13/2011 at 11:09 am
    I think she’s full of crap. AI people are not stupid enough to say that out loud, whether they feel that way or not. Shame on GMA for giving her a spotlight.

    Well, after the Chris Brown mess giving this girl the spotlight is no surprise but it sure sounds stoopid! GMA seems to be turning into a tabloid show. Why is she getting this publicity when even her friends can’t corroborate her story!!

  • blkeener

    What does she want, tickets to the finale?

  • gangreen29

    Liar.

    Also, calling someone fat isn’t code idiot lol. If they called you that they are very explicitly calling you out.

  • Tess

    Wolf! Wolf! Be care what you yell because you aren’t ever going to get the results you think you want. Whether the “story” is true or not is beside the point at this juncture…and the young lady gets nothing from her rant except her tabloidy 15 minutes of fame. With all the “rumours” circulating about AI this doesn’t even register as a pebble in the shoe…and I think it has done more harm to the “reputation” of GMA than to AI.

  • TwigLA

    OK, I’m shocked. I was expecting her to be a British tourist since she went to the Brit tabloid press with her story.

    I have a feeling she presumed the reason she and her friends were moved (no mention here about her one friend wearing shorts) was because she’s ‘fat’ in her words. That her friends who were with her didn’t hear TWO people say this to her casts doubt on her story.

    I’ve been to a taping and the seats are small. I got stuck between 2 large women and was crushed the entire time. I counted the seconds until people would stand to applaud so I could breathe. I always get stuck sitting between people twice my size. /end rant

  • vjb475

    I think this is her way of getting her 15 minutes (which the press is giving her). It’s that or get pregers so she can try out for Teen Mom.

  • NOLA

    Ever wonder why it’s never the beautiful girls that complain?

  • lucy

    GMA seems to be turning into a tabloid show. Why is she getting this publicity when even her friends can’t corroborate her story!!

    They’re still mad at Idol because ABC turned down the chance to air the show. lol

  • larc

    It’s disgusting that any news source would have run with this story before they checked it out. Some unfortunately seem to reserve that obvious necessity for positive stories.

  • iluvai

    She sure looks happy in the GMA spotlight!

  • Kirsten

    A) If even your friends who were with you that day won’t back your story, it’s probably not true.

    B) Want to bet that tonight, right behind the judge’s table or prominently in the front row, Nigel will sit the largest person he can find and that person will end up on TV?

  • SparklesATL

    14:58….tic…tic…tic

  • SparklesATL

    And another thing…I’ll never forget AI5 when Taylor Hicks was performing, there on the front row was Amanda Lepore, notorious transgender “model” sitting next to a guy with the caption on the screen under them “Taylor’s friends.”

    This woman looks like that ugly “cat woman.” but she wasn’t fat so maybe that’s why she was allowed to sit there.

    This stuff isn’t new. It’s been going on for years. Remember that Elvis come back show on tv? He was wearing all black leather. All of those girls in the front were hand selected to swoon over Elvis.

  • leome

    B) Want to bet that tonight, right behind the judge’s table or prominently in the front row, Nigel will sit the largest person he can find and that person will end up on TV?

    LMAO
    I was thinking this and I’m sure I’ll be looking at the people behind the judges.

    I don’t want to call her a liar cause I have no idea what happened. It is strange because there have been fat people appearing on idol and in those front rows and apparently her friends know nothing about this.
    Maybe someone implied she was fat and she’s making a huge story out of it.

  • LK3

    I’m not buying it either. Mostly because initially, the only press she could get to even print her story was a notorious British tabloid. And, now even the friend who was with her can’t verify her account. If she hires a lawyer and starts looking for a payday for this “discrimination”, then we’ll know for sure what her angle was.

    The Daily Mail probably ate her hand off for the ‘story’. They are ridiculed more so than the The Sun newspaper is, which at least doesn’t hold itself in high regard & acknowledges that it’s a fluff rag.

    I don’t buy her story either, especially when there’s no weight behind it.

    What does she want, tickets to the finale?

    LOL sounds like it.

  • LindaT

    This girl’s story is a crock. I’ve been to a few Idol tapings and the staff do not move heavy young girls out of the front rows. However, they do tend to put the older audience members toward the back (unless they are family/friends of the contestants), probably because Idol likes to have the younger people on camera. It would be more believable for a 70-year old to show up on GMA complaining that she wasn’t allowed to be in the front row to cheer on Scotty. :)

  • Holden

    “Idol” has never had a problem with singers who weren’t thin as rails. Ruben was huge. Kimberley Locke and Jennifer Hudson have lost weight in recent years, but they were a little heavier when they were on the show. If “Idol” doesn’t have a problem with plus-size singers on stage, it’s hard to believe they’d discriminate against certain body types in the audience.

  • Caffiend

    Having been to more than a dozen Idol tapings, I can tell you that the ticketing and seating is handled by an outside firm called On Camera Audiences. It is very professional and I don’t think it would risk its contract with Idol by doing something so stupid.