Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, ...
Credit: American Idol: Fox

I’m not sure what to make of the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation’s complaints about perceived homophobic comments by Simon Cowell and Randy Jackson on the first two episodes of the new American Idol season. On the one hand, GLAAD is not the only observer to bristle at remarks like ”Shave off the beard and wear a dress, because he’d be a great female impersonator” (Simon, regarding auditioner Charles Berry) or ”Are you a girl?” (Randy, to auditioner Zachary Travis); PopWatch’s Mike Slezak winced as well in his first Idol TV Watch column last week. On the other hand, such insults may just be part of the larger efforts of the Idol team to make the audition episodes look like a freak show. (Not to excuse Simon’s equal-opportunity cruelty, but his scorn for nearly everyone makes Idol feel inclusive, in a perverse way.) Besides, given the show’s often disco-fied musical choices and all-around diva-licious behavior, how much more gay-friendly could the show be?

What do you think? Has Idol gone too far?

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