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Enough with the gay-baiting routine on 'Idol'!

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Look, I’m fully aware that the “I’m not gay, but you are!” banter between Ryan Seacrest and Simon Cowell is an annual rite of passage on American Idol, but isn’t it time these boys graduated to something a little less homophobic, a little less sophomoric, and a little more appropriate for a show that bills itself as family programming? I mean, it’s 2007 — did these guys miss the Seinfeld “not that there’s anything wrong with it” episode? And what’s next, dropping the good old-fashioned, “f—-t” bomb?

For those of you who missed last night’s episode, PopWatch has the YouTube clip, but if it gets removed, I’ve also included a transcript, which started over a discussion of contestant Melinda Doolittle’s uncomfortable shoes.

Ryan: “Simon, any advice on the high heels?”
Simon: “You should know, Ryan.”
Ryan: “Stay out of my closet!”
Simon: “Come out!”
Ryan: “This is about the top 12, okay? Not your wishes.”
Simon: [Laughs heartily.]
Ryan: [Grinning like an idiot.] “We’re friends.”

Urgh. Haven’t most of us been hearing a variation on this depressing routine since fifth grade? Judging from the live audience’s tepid laughter, it seems like the answer is yes. But what do you think, PopWatchers? Am I missing a good opportunity to laugh, or is it time Ryan and Simon focused on the music and saved their “comedy” act for a different forum?

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