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Man, 50, files complaint against 'American Idol 2' for age bias

January 22, 2003|From Associated Press

MIAMI — The hit television series "American Idol 2" violated anti-discrimination laws when its producers wouldn't let a 50-year-old college professor audition because he was too old, his attorney says.

Drew Cummings, a visiting professor of film and television at Miami-Dade Community College, said he was turned away from a Nov. 2 tryout in Miami Beach because the Fox TV show's rules say those who audition cannot be older than 24.

He has filed complaints with the state and federal agencies that enforce antidiscrimination laws.

"Age discrimination runs rampant in the entertainment industry and corporate America," Cummings said in a statement. "It's time that someone did something about it."

His attorney, Frederick Kramer, said that state and federal officials, including those from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, have 180 days to review Cummings' charges. Cummings could then file suit.

The complaint names Fox and the show's producers, 19 Television and FremantleMedia North America Inc.

A spokesman for Fox said the network would issue a response today. The show's new season began Tuesday, and producers have said that 70,000 people nationwide auditioned for it.

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