Ian Benardo, the wacky American Idol contestant who has sued the show 3 times, and also disrupted a bit during the Season 9 finale is charging that producers directed him to act “in a stereotypically effeminate way during his performance of ‘Gloria.’ He also says that he was repeatedly called ‘fag’ and ‘homo, ‘ and that at one point a producer threatened to ‘shove this mic up your ass.'”
When I first heard about this, I didn’t take it very seriously. I figured Ian was just an attention whore looking to extend his fame. But I don’t know, if he doesn’t have a case, he might at least have a point.
Mediaweek reports, that in a motion to dismiss a federal harassment suit against the show, Idol attorney Mark Goldberg denies that Ian was harassed or discriminated against:
Mark Goldberg, the lawyer for American Idol, denies that the derogatory comments were ever made. But if they were, he says, they are nothing more than “few sporadic verbal slurs made on three separate and distinct occasions, each lasting only one to a few days, spread out over the course of four years.” None of these slurs constitute harassment or discrimination, says Goldberg. Telling Benardo to “gay it up, ” he said in court papers, “is an act of acceptance and encouragement.”
Oh, so if the verbal slurs are “spaced out” over time, that makes them OK? And telling someone to “gay it up” is an act of “acceptance and encouragement?” Alrighty, then.