American Idol Contestant Charges Anti-Gay Discrimination

Former American Idol contestant, Ian Bernardo sent a fax to Rodney Ho of the Atlanta Journal Constitution (and probably others) informing him that he had filed a complaint in the New York’s division of Human Rights office against Idol producers for illegal workplace discrimination.

According to Rodney, in 2006 Ian performed Laura Branigan’s “Gloria” during auditions and was one of those comic/trainwreck auditions.

If you watched the Season 9 Idol finale, you saw Ian attempt to hijack the skit/performance with Dane Cook and a slew of other Idol joke contestants serenading Simon Cowell. Ian grabbed the mic and proceeded to go off script, at which point, he was cut off, and the show went to commercial.

Bernado in the suit says the producers “exploited my non-conforming appearance and sexual orientation. They did this by directing me to ‘gay it up’ in any appearance I made on camera… Although characterized as an ‘audition’ to the public at large, in fact, I was and was paid as an employee of respondents for each appearance.”

He said employees of “Idol” derided him for his appearance using words like “fag” and “homo.” “The workplace, ” he said, “was permeated with discriminatory intimidation, ridicule, insults and hostile and offensive comments that were so severe as to alter my working conditions and create an environment that was abusive and ultimately threatening to my safety.”

Ian is asking $300, 000 in damages.  So is he talking about stuff that happened in 2006? It sounds like it, doesn’t it? If so, why did he wait to come forward?  The dude comes across as a total attention whore, so who knows what the deal is here.  Rodney promises to keep us updated if he hears any more. Oh goodie.

About mj santilli 34526 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!