(Liberty Bell) – ABC took a lot of heat from Variety writer Daniel D’Addario for having Claudia Conway, daughter of George and Kellyanne Conway, on the show “American Idol” as a contestant. D’Addario accused the network of the “worst exploitation of a minor” over the appearance.
According to BizPacReview, the Sunday evening appearance by the young Conway is another bit of fame for the teenager after she hit the public square after she published videos on TikTok slamming her mom for working as a political counselor for former President Donald Trump.
Claudia, who is 16, earned hundreds of thousands of views on her social media platforms after spewing dirt on how her relationship with her parents soured. The content is what led to Kellyanne Conway leaving the White House and her father George taking a break from his law firm and his involvement with the anti-Trump group the Lincoln Project.
In a rather bizarre twist to this whole thing, Claudia stated last month on social media that her mother had shared a topless photo of her to Twitter after she allegedly found one on her smartphone. Later, in a post on TikTok, Claudia backtracked on the accusation while begging followers not to call the police.
And, of course, police in New Jersey launched an investigation anyway.
And yet, despite all of this drama, ABC decided to go ahead and put Claudia on the show and promoted the episode heavily ahead of its broadcast.
Claudia’s father, George, was seen accompanying his daughter to the audition, which actually took place last fall right in the thick of the turmoil unfolding in the family. Kellyanne made an appearance via video. Singer Katy Perry, one of the judges on the program, recognized Claudia and asked if she was okay.
“No, but yes!” Claudia said with a laugh.
Later on in the broadcast Kellyanne gave her daughter some sage advice and encouragement.
“This is your time to shine. But remember, honey, winners are people who are willing to lose,” Conway said.
Claudia was featured in two segments, singing “Love on the Brain” by Rihanna and then Adele’s “When We Were Young.” Her performances were good enough to land her an advancement by the judges to the Hollywood finals round. This means she’ll be seen in future episodes.
And this is what leads into D’Addario’s criticism of the network and the program for seemingly using Claudia as a pawn for ratings.
“With the problem of Claudia’s parents seemingly beyond anyone’s ability to solve for now, television took up the case of redefining her in the public eye, on the new season of ‘American Idol,’” D’Addario wrote in his piece slamming ABC. “A series whose long-term mission has been making ordinary people into celebrities now seeks to convert a celebrity into an ordinary person, and to borrow some of her ability to spark conversation along the way.”
“The game is rigged. What seems at first to be Claudia’s chance to ‘get out of the political whatever’ becomes a lengthy mandate to delve into, and finally to put a happy face on, a story that Claudia has tried, in fits and starts, to tell on her own terms,” he went on to write. “She’s ceded, or had taken from her, the chance to do that, with the promise that what she’d get in return would be a fresh start. What ABC has done here is wrong, and should merit deep reflection on the part of producers and executives.”
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. My column: https://t.co/OWm8HZWdlE
— Daniel D'Addario (@DPD_) February 15, 2021
“Claudia Conway’s appearance … the worst sort of exploitation of a minor that reality TV has done in memory — ought to prompt real soul-searching among ABC executives,” D’Addario stated.
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