- On Sunday night, “American Idol” aired 16-year-old Claudia Conway’s audition.
- Claudia is the daughter of Kellyanne and George Conway. She has posted several videos alleging mistreatment from her mother.
- Many viewers were upset that her audition segment included clips of her parents giving words of encouragement, as they believe it helped her mother rehabilitate her public image, an opportunity many think she does not deserve.
- Others accused “American Idol” of exploiting Claudia in an attempt to get more viewers.
Claudia Conway Auditions for “American Idol”
Many are accusing “American Idol” of exploiting Claudia Conway after the show’s Sunday night season premiere included a nine-minute-long audition segment about the teen and her family.
Claudia, 16, gained popularity on TikTok for posting about the political rifts in her household. Her mother, Kellyanne, was an adviser to former President Donald Trump and her father, George, is an attorney and critic of the ex-president. However, Claudia’s posts have shown that political disagreements have been far from the only issue in her household.
In January, Kellyanne was accused of posting a topless photo of Claudia on Twitter fleets. Previously, there have been numerous concerns about their relationship and allegations of abuse.At one point, Claudia unsuccessfully tried to emancipate herself from her parents.
Her appearance on “American Idol” has prompted many to once again raise these concerns, as some believe it is unfair to put a teenager struggling with her parents in even more spotlight.
When she walked into the audition room, judge Katy Perry immediately asked Claudia, “Are you okay?”
“With your mom being the figure that she is, do you still, like, does she still hug you?” Perry later asked.
“Yeah I mean, she loves me, I love her,” Claudia responded. “Just, I feel like, just our relationship, I feel is a little iffy.”
In several interview clips, Claudia discussed the difficulties of publicly disagreeing with her parents while they were at the center of national politics. Both of them appeared in the segment. George went to the audition with his daughter in-person and at one point, teared up while talking about how much this moment meant to her. Kellyanne appeared virtually, giving her daughter a pep talk via video chat before she met the judges.
“I’m really really nervous,” Claudia said to her mother.
“Well, you should be nervous. It’s a humbling experience,” Kellyanne responded.
“Idol” Faces Backlash
After singing two songs, Claudia secured a golden ticket to Hollywood. Both her parents cheered her on when she got the good news, but it’s not Claudia’s vocal chops or advancement to the next round that is generating conversation online.
Many are upset that during her audition, the show seemingly worked to rehabilitate Kellyanne’s image by showing her as a supportive mother. In addition to her tumultuous relationship with her daughter, Kellyanne has been widely condemned for spreading blatant lies during her time in the Trump Administration.
“Laundering the reputation of someone as horrible as Kellyanne is gross,” one person wrote on Twitter. “Remember, everyone, decent people don’t threaten their daughter with a mental health hold and support and excuse every attack on America by their boss.”
Others claimed the show was exploiting the trauma and pain of a teenager to boost its ratings. “American Idol” had been advertising Claudia’s upcoming audition for over a week and teased it repeatedly during the premiere. While the audition was taped in November, two months before the controversy surrounding the topless photo, the public was still well aware of issues within the Conway family.
“Claudia Conway’s appearance on “American Idol” — the worst sort of exploitation of a minor that reality TV has done in memory — ought to prompt real soul-searching among ABC executives,” Variety’s Chief TV Critic, Daniel D’Addario, wrote.
“Using this snapshot as the story of the family’s life in public is both incomplete and unfair to the girl herself,” he continued in his column.
Claudia has yet to respond to the backlash but posted a TikTok suggesting that she was at least aware of the criticism, or potentially felt exploited herself. In the video, she wrote text insinuating that the judges asked her what it was like growing up in an abusive environment, but instead of listening to her, demanded she just sing.
Joe Rogan Holds Spot As Top Podcaster on Spotify in 2022
Earlier this year, some threatened to boycott the platform over Rogan and the health misinformation he shared on his show.
For the third year in a row, “The Joe Rogan Experience” was the number one podcast on Spotify, the company revealed in its yearly “Wrapped” feature on Wednesday.
“The Joe Rogan Experience” became exclusive to Spotify in 2020 after the host signed a lucrative deal with the audio streaming platform. “Call Her Daddy” by Alex Cooper, also a Spotify exclusive, followed Rogan on the charts. “Anything Goes With Emma Chamberlain,” which will become exclusive to the service next year, came in third.
Rogan’s podcast has made several headlines over the last year as the podcaster faced backlash from medical professionals and major musicians for touting COVID-19 misinformation. Niel Young asked to have his music removed from Spotify in protest of the company’s deal with Rogan, and several other artists soon followed.
Just a few days later, several clips resurfaced of Rogan using a racial slur. Many called to boycott Spotify for platforming Rogan, but his popularity did not seem to fade by the year’s end.
There are over four million podcasts available to stream on Spotify and over the last year, the platform has expanded into new markets.
It also has started launching podcasts from several high-profile figures, including Kim Kardashian’s “The System,” and Meghan Markle’s “Archetypes.” Both of those debuted mid-year and did not crack the annual top-five list.
Comedian Gives David Beckham Ultimatum: Exit Role at Qatar World Cup Or £10K in Donations Gets Shredded
“Not just the money, but also your status as a gay icon will be shredded,” Joe Lycett said in a video.
Pressure on Beckham
Comedian Joe Lycett posted a video on Sunday saying he would shred £10,000 if soccer star David Beckham does not pull out of his deal to be an ambassador for the Qatar World Cup.
Ahead of the event, which kicks off on Nov. 20, many have been raising concerns about human rights abuses in Qatar. The country criminalizes homosexuality, and it can be punishable by death.
Beckham’s deal to represent the country was reportedly worth £10 million, and many are frustrated that the athlete took such a big check from a country with known anti-LGBTQ laws. In his video, Lycett noted that Beckham has been openly supportive of his gay fans and was the first premiere footballer to do a photoshoot with a gay magazine.
In an attempt to get Beckham to bow out of his role, Lycett, who is pansexual, offered an ultimatum.
“If you end your relationship with Qatar, I’ll donate this £10,000 of my own money, that’s a grand for every million you’re reportedly getting, to charities that support queer people in football,” he stated. “However, if you do not, at midday next Sunday, I will throw this money into a shredder.”
“Not just the money, but also your status as a gay icon will be shredded.”
Beckham’s Reputation “Shredded”
Lycett said he would livestream the money shredding if that’s what the situation comes to. If Beckham does not back out of the World Cup, Lycett noted he will be forced to “commit what might be a crime,” as destroying legal tender is against the law in the U.K.
“Although even then, I reckon I’ll get off more lightly than I would if I got caught whacking off a lad in Doha,” Lycett quipped.
Lycett then linked to a website titled https://benderslikebeckham.com/, which includes a written version of his message, as well as a countdown to when he will either shred the cash or send it to a non-profit.
Lycett is not the only U.K star to raise concerns about issues in Qatar. Singer Dua Lipa shut down speculation that she would be performing at the World Cup over the weekend by saying she has no intentions to visit the country until “it has fulfilled all the human rights pledges it made when it won the right to host” the event.
Other stars, however, including BTS’s Jung Kook, are slated to take the stage.
See what others are saying: (CNN) (The Hollywood Reporter) (BBC News)
Federal Judge Dismisses Dave Portnoy’s Lawsuit Against Insider
The online personality called the decision “disappointing” but not “overly surprising.”
A federal judge in Massachusetts dismissed a defamation lawsuit Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy filed against Business Insider, several outlets reported on Monday.
According to a report from The Washington Post, Chief Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV decided that Portnoy did not successfully prove that the news outlet acted with “actual malice” or “reckless disregard for the truth” when it published two articles about his sexual relationships.
The first article, published in Nov. 2021, detailed stories from women who said they had “violent” and traumatizing sex with Portnoy. A second piece was published in Feb. 2022 and includes sources who said Portnoy filmed sexual encounters without consent.
Portnoy has repeatedly denied the allegations and maintained that the sexual encounters were consensual and positive. He sued Insider in February following the publication of the second article.
Per The Post, Saylor tossed the complaint because it did “not allege that Insider’s anonymous sources were fake, or that the articles misrepresented what the women told [Insider’s reporters].”
“Furthermore, plaintiff admits that Insider investigated its first article for months, requested an interview with him, sought his comment before publication, included his denials, and hyperlinked to his news conference and his lawyer’s full denial letter,” the judge’s decision continued.
Saylor also noted that Insider corroborated their sources’ claims with photos, texts, medical reports, receipts, and accounts from their friends.
While Portnoy argued that these stories were an invasion of privacy as they pertained to his private sex life and the women involved were not his employees, Insider held that their claims were relevant.
“When a rich, famous, and powerful person uses their power in a way that is harmful to other people, it is newsworthy,” Nicholas Carlson, Insider’s Global Editor-in-Chief, previously wrote in an editor’s note.
Saylor largely agreed with that, saying that issues of consent and power are part of “legitimate public interest,” including in instances that arise outside “the employment context.”
An Insider spokesperson told The Post that the outlet is “pleased and gratified that the judge dismissed his complaint.”
“We knew from the start that our reporting was careful, fair, and accurate, but it’s gratifying to see that validated in court,” Julia Black, one of the reporters named in the lawsuit, tweeted in response to the news.
For his part, however, Portnoy has criticized the judge’s decision, calling it “disappointing” but not “overly surprising.”
“Every single lawyer said it was an uphill battle, every legal expert said it was an uphill battle, that it’s almost impossible for a public figure to prove defamation,” he said in a video posted to Twitter. “The laws are stacked against me.”
Portnoy said that he turned in texts and other evidence he believed would prove the sexual encounters were positive but claimed “the judge didn’t even really look at the evidence.”
He later read an excerpt from the judge’s decision that said Portnoy “can’t seek to prove actual malice by challenging statements that defendants did not publish.”
“In other words: Business Insider did not publish any of my shit, I can’t talk about it, it’s not part of the case,” Portnoy explained. “It’s inadmissible.”
He said he could appeal the decision if he wanted, but added he was not optimistic about how that would turn out for him. He floated the idea of suing the sources themselves, noting he thinks he would stand a better chance in such a case.