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‘Idol’ contestant accuses show of anti-gay discrimination

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CORRECTION (July 27): Bernardo’s complaint is actually asking for $300 million, not $300,000. Yes, there was an extra three zeroes there in the complaint. My bad!

Former “Idol” contestant Ian Bernardo today faxed the Atlanta Journal Constitution (and presumably others) informing us that he had filed a complaint in New York’s Division of Human Rights office against the producers of “American Idol” for illegal workplace discrimination.

In 2006, he performed Laura Branigan’s “Gloria” during auditions. He was horrible. I don’t even remember the guy four years after the fact.

He showed up on the Simon Cowell finale “Idol” show this past May on stage with Dane Cook and a bunch of other “Idol” misfits. The lawsuit said he was encouraged to stir things up so he grabbed the mike and talked directly to Simon. Producers cut to commercials. It looked kind of staged to me but he did manage to keep the mike away from Tatiana Del Toro, which was quite a feat.

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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.”

He is asking for $300,000 in damages.

I’ll update this if we get a response from “Idol” but I doubt they’ll have much to say.

54 comments Add your comment

JTesla

July 26th, 2010
2:24 pm

Huh? Oh brother.

Rickster

July 26th, 2010
2:41 pm

Not only is this person seeking an additional 15 minutes of fame, he’s seeking $300,000 as well! (Heck, $1.2 million per hour ain’t bad for fame!)

Rickster

July 26th, 2010
2:44 pm

I wish he’d just ooze back into whatever petri dish from which he escaped.

Rickster

July 26th, 2010
2:47 pm

And was he really an employee? Or was he an independent contractor? I doubt 19 would hire him (or any of the other misfits that appeared on stage) and go through the trouble of filling out all that paperwork when they could just 1099 him as an independent.

JTesla

July 26th, 2010
2:52 pm

Well he can’t sue Idol based on the fact that he is a failure at life. Of course that whole Dane Cook bit was a failure, and the failingist portion of it was this losers part in it.

Failingist isn’t a word, but I needed a 10 letter word that begins with F for that spot so there it is. I could have tried harder to come up with something better like: felicities, fiducially, frivolling, frolicsome, or fungicides, but this guy isn’t worth the time.

Deirdre

July 26th, 2010
3:03 pm

This is a joke, right?

I mean, the finale was 2 months ago.

I guess he didn’t get all the attention he thought he would from that “performance” and now he’s going to treat us to another “performance”.

That being said….the whole Dane Cook thing was awful.

Rickster

July 26th, 2010
3:14 pm

I never thought I’d see the day where I’d rather seem Tatiana over someone else! :-)

And is it discrimination to listen to someone perform and say “you’re terrible!” Of course it is! :-)

But that type of discrimination should not be actionable in court.

kelly&carriefan

July 26th, 2010
3:16 pm

Oy. I have no “printable” words for this. Not because I feel like I’m a spokesperson for the “gay folk,” but because people like him do more damage than good…trivializing a real matter for personal gain. :evil:

Oh, and in case you didn’t see this, Rickster? Sons of Sylvia?! :shock:

Rickster

July 26th, 2010
3:30 pm

Hey Rodney…. what’s “discriminatoin”?

Rickster

July 26th, 2010
3:31 pm

It may have been an act that opened for the act that opened for Carrie. :-)

Rickster

July 26th, 2010
3:42 pm

Actually, the brother of the guy I know made it to Hollywood week (can’t remember which season.)

Rickster

July 26th, 2010
3:45 pm

But no Idol connection I’ve heard on this blog is better than Nana’s! :-)

kelly&carriefan

July 26th, 2010
3:54 pm

Rickster, I’m gonna have to put my thinking cap on in that case! And yes, Nana does have the best Idol connection so far. But give me time. I’m hoping I can work on mine…without getting arrested or restraining orders. :lol:

Mercedes S.

July 26th, 2010
3:59 pm

Not a blood link, Rickster, BUT my d-i-l’s best friend from high school was ON Idol a couple of years ago, as one of the 24, or whatever the number was, got to sing and get diminished by Simon & Co (they had great fun with her Alabama accent). Her confidence was restored a year later when she became a runner up to the Miss USA. Girl has many bitter memories from her Idol experience.

Rickster

July 26th, 2010
3:59 pm

Hey, K&CF… wouldn’t your idol connection be that you got to see Kelly at the Masquerade from the front row (thanks to Rodney.)

Rickster

July 26th, 2010
4:01 pm

I’d rank your connection second so far, Mercedes.

Mercedes S.

July 26th, 2010
4:01 pm

Non-Idol question, for “True Blood” fans – y’all think this was it for Franklin?

Rickster

July 26th, 2010
4:09 pm

Of course… that’s not using any sort of scientific or measurably criteria. It’s purely subjective. :-)

Rickster

July 26th, 2010
4:10 pm

I was flipping though the channels the other day and came across “First Blood” (the first Rambo movie.) That’s about as close as I’ll ever come to “True Blood.” ;-)

Rodney Ho

July 26th, 2010
4:17 pm

That’s reading over the main copy, forgetting to double check the headline!

Sam

July 26th, 2010
4:19 pm

Rickster – bored today? You are the most prolific guy this blog has ever seen! About 2/3 of todays belong to ya! You’ll have to gather them up, bind them and publish for sale via this blog.

Rickster

July 26th, 2010
4:21 pm

i’m getting outta here folks. The A/C in the building isn’t doing it’s job so well.. so I’m going from the frying pan into the fire by getting into my non-A/C car. :-(

Hope everyone has a good night.

Rickster

July 26th, 2010
4:22 pm

Thanks Sam! Send me your address & I’ll send you an autographed copy! :-)

[...] ‘Idol’ contestant accuses show of anti-gay discrimination [...]

kelly&carriefan

July 26th, 2010
4:42 pm

Rickster, you’re holding down the fort! As far as Kelly, yes. I guess the night at The Loft where she took my hand will have to be it for now. Ha.

JTesla

July 26th, 2010
4:46 pm

Has anyone else, aside from K&Cfan and Rodney, touched an Idol? Lara maybe? Of course Rodney has the most touches.

Mercedes S.

July 26th, 2010
4:57 pm

JT, I assume you mean American Idol idols?
And, are you sure you didn’t mean “failingiest” earlier? Of course, that’s an elevener.

JTesla

July 26th, 2010
5:00 pm

Thank you Mercedes. Yes, American Idols. Otherwise I’d tell you all about the Idol I touch.

And… although your word is a far better fit, it is 11 letters. Sorry I only had room for 10 letters in that spot. ;)

Rosita

July 26th, 2010
5:07 pm

But it should be “failingest,” no? And that’s 10.

JTesla

July 26th, 2010
5:29 pm

This blog is overrun with word nerds. :twisted:

Rosita

July 26th, 2010
5:35 pm

You only say that b/c u got busted! :-)

JTesla

July 26th, 2010
5:43 pm

Busted? Nah, I didn’t want to debate how superior my misspelled choice was over your misspelled choice. ;)

When speaking of this particular person he is a devout, all encompassing, failure. His pattern of failures allow him to transcend just one time of being the failingest to being a true failingist. In a total made up way of course.

We need to get the Clay Aiken fans back here.

Deirdre

July 26th, 2010
5:53 pm

Rosita

July 26th, 2010
5:54 pm

And, Sally, our Rickster is master of the afterthought.

While JT is master baiter.

Highlander

July 26th, 2010
5:56 pm

“He said employees of “Idol” derided him for his appearance using words like “fag” and “homo.” ” – Ian (I’m so different) Bernardo.

Either name names or shut the F*** up and sit down! As usual, we get the ubiquitous “they said this” whine. Wah, wah, wah!

I firmly believe that any of the gay folks I know would think he’s obnoxious, too. (Have to say I think that would be the case simply because Bernardo doesn’t rate as a real topic of conversation!) :lol:

JTesla

July 26th, 2010
6:00 pm

LOL, let me tell you about my Idol!

Mercedes S.

July 26th, 2010
6:38 pm

Hey, rain is pouring down!

Mercedes S.

July 26th, 2010
6:44 pm

Meanwhile, tell us about your Idol, JT.

AI Fan

July 26th, 2010
7:39 pm

Don’t know if anyone mentioned this, since I didn’t read ALL the comments, but Idol definitely does NOT discriminate, or Adam Lambert would never have made it to Runner-up, Season 8! So how in the world can he prove they discriminate??? Just ask Adam Lambert how they treated him! Pretty GOOD, from my viewpoint!

JTesla

July 26th, 2010
7:48 pm

Just because the prize poodle gets pampered doesn’t mean that they don’t beat the runts.

Wait am I defending this guy? How did that happen.

Deirdre

July 26th, 2010
8:45 pm

prize poodle?????

Deirdre

July 26th, 2010
9:22 pm

HUGE NEWS!!!!!!!!

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Nigel Lythgoe is negotiating a deal with FOX to return to American Idol as executive producer!

JTesla

July 26th, 2010
9:34 pm

And judge? That I could go for, sure it would be over exposure, but I don’t watch that other show so I’m ok with that.

Thanks Deirdre.

Harm

July 26th, 2010
10:32 pm

So the rumor going around my little town of Temple is that one of our female residents made it through on Idol (I guess in Nashville). I haven’t found out who yet, so I don’t know if I have a connection to Idol or not!

Maggie is a smart dog! Why didn’t I think of that! I could’ve chewed my stupy cast off!

Deirdre

July 27th, 2010
7:18 am

Morning!

LOL Harm!

Think about all the things Nigel has said about Idol. He would go back to 3 judges. He would clear out the panel and start all over with new judges. He would make the show about the contestants again. All positive!

One negative for me is that he wants Elton John.

Deirdre

July 27th, 2010
7:20 am

Um…let me clarify that…he wants Elton John…as a judge. I don’t know him well enough to even hazard a guess what else he would want Elton John for.

Deirdre

July 27th, 2010
7:43 am

RATS!!!!!!

Nigel will be returning to Idol but not as executive producer. He will be on board as the representative from Idol’s parent company. He’ll be a consultant. Ken Warwick, the man responsible for all the stupy decisions of the last few years, will continue as executive producer.

I-Ninjakicksbackvectrex

July 27th, 2010
7:50 am

Females are responsible for the stupy decisions of the last few years that their votes caused. Lee winning over Crystal for example.

Deirdre

July 27th, 2010
8:32 am

I’m not so sure. The fact that Cook beat Archie says differently. And…it was females who loved Adam. Most men didn’t…at least here on the blog. I’m not sure we can generalize. The winners almost always seem to be safe and tolerable choices rather than risky ones.

Waffle House

July 27th, 2010
9:36 am

I-Ninjakicksbackvectrex

July 27th, 2010
10:17 am

Cougars for Cook propelled him to victory as archie was too young for the older females who weren’t looking to put his face on their car mirror or a date for their daughter. Saying one male beat another in the finale means little since both have predominate female fans. Men didn’t give Kris or Lee the title or prop up smiling tim for months. Men didn’t give a weak male field 6 out of 10 tour slots and send the likes of Lilly, Alexis, and Katelyn home early. Women wanting casey to take off his shirt and Tim to smile after butchering a song did these things by stuffing the voting box for eye rather than ear candy.

wreckedpizza

July 27th, 2010
10:18 am

New thread up—–Deirdre has scooped it yet again!

Rodney Ho

July 27th, 2010
10:22 am

Yes. indeed. I hadn’t been checking “Idol’ stuff for 15 hours and am a little behind… New blog entry up.

[...] a fax sent to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Benardo claims he was asked to appear on the “Idol” [...]