American Idol Audience Member Too Fat for Front Row?

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on April 12, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

American Idol producers have some explaining to do.

While judge favorite Pia Toscano was being kicked off, the show's ushers were kicking 19-year-old Ashley Kauffman and her two friends into the back row.

The reason? She was too fat, and they weren't dressed well enough.

Ashley Kauffman, a college sophomore, was given free front row tickets along with five of her friends for last Tuesday's American Idol taping.

When they arrived, she was not only insulted by a woman telling her that she was "too big, too heavy to be in front," but was told by a male usher re-seating her in the back that it made sense that she wasn't with her "skinny" friends, reports the Daily Mail.

It seems like this wasn't the first time the show's audience wranglers have made decisions based on an audience member's size.

Kauffman, who doesn't even appear to be obese, only wants an apology, according to the paper. And that's all she may be entitled to.

Despite being humiliating, weight discrimination is not illegal in most places, even if is unknowingly related to a disability.

Additionally, the fact that the tickets were given to her as a gift complicates any claim that she was entitled to sit in the front. She didn't purchase the tickets, so she probably didn't have a contract for her specific seat.

American Idol, however, should take note. Ashley Kauffman appears to be a sensible woman, and while offended, was not subject to debilitating emotional distress as a result of the incident. Producers may not be so lucky next time.

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