This story has been happening at Radar Online for a few days but I didn’t know if any of you would be interested. I find it worth repeating now that the young woman at the center of it has gone on Good Morning America to tell her story. Ashley Kauffman, a 19 year-old American Idol fan, was banished from her front row seat during one of the competition shows when a staffer came by and told her to get the back because she was “too big and too heavy to be there.” Ashlee went with about six girlfriends, but she and two of her friends were told that they were being reseated. An usher took her ticket and contemptuously told them “It makes sense why you’re not with the skinny girls… you’re in the back row.”
Ashley wasn’t taking that and she’s been telling Radar Online about her mortifying experience and has now gone on national television. On GMA, Ashley clarified that she was sent to the back of her section five rows behind their other friends, not the back of the auditorium entirely. Idol issued a statement saying that their group had agreed to be separated as those seats at the front are hard to come by.
Ashley said that she is not out for money or fame and she just wants an “apology” and for it “not to happen to anyone else.”
I believe this girl. She seemed really upset and got choked up when she described how the woman looked at her like she was disgusting.
It seems like Idol isn’t a very welcoming place for larger female contestants, either. We’ve had Jennifer Hudson and Frenchie but were there even any larger women at Hollywood Week this year? I don’t remember anyone, but I could have just missed them. As ABC News points out, former judge Simon Cowell ridiculed season five contestant Mandisa over her weight, quipping “Do we have a bigger stage this year?” Cowell apologized later.
I doubt the Idol bigwigs are going to acknowledge this, but I bet you we’ll see some larger fans in the front row at the next taping. Just wait.