'Idol' Producer Responds to Racist, Weight Insinuations

In response to recent media reports that “American Idol” is exercising double standards, and that weight, beauty and race are to blame, the show’s Executive Producer Nigel Lythgoe issued this statement Wednesday afternoon:

"Without wishing to add to the obvious self-promotion of Ms. O'Donnell, I feel as though I must refute her absurd and ridiculous claims that AMERICAN IDOL is racist and/or weightist.

"Ms. O’Donnell has, once again, spoken without thought or knowledge. Viewers need only look at the show tonight to realize that AMERICAN IDOL constantly confirms to America that talent has nothing to do with weight or color."