POP Idol winner Will Young claims ‘powerful characters’ have shut down at least five shows for ‘bullying and abuse’ during TV talent contests.
The singer says we still live in a time where abuse is tolerated and covered up, despite huge efforts following a series of showbiz scandals.
Will, 43, shot to fame on the 2002 Pop Idol series, which starred Simon Cowell, who went on to create the ultimate talent show, The X-Factor.
He said: ‘It’s amazing that some people have managed to escape discovering certain things, I mean if there was ever an exhibition about this it would be just huge, but there is will ever have.
“I’ve heard of about five that have been closed. It will never be. We think we’re in a situation now where powerful people, we’ve been through it all. They can’t abuse?… no.
“It really pained me, it’s something I hate, bullies, I can’t stand it.”
A series of former stars of The X Factor have complained about their treatment, including Rebecca Ferguson, Jedward and Cher Lloyd.
Will – who did not name any specific show – claims that in the early days of reality TV, rough handling of budding stars wasn’t as prevalent because even the creators didn’t know how the show was going to blow up.
Speaking on the Midpoint Podcast, he said: “For people of our generation it was new. I mean there had always been talent contests, but it was bigger, brighter, you know, one artist, one big record deal, that was it.
“I think I was very lucky because people didn’t know what it was going to do, so they couldn’t even mistreat us if they wanted to, because they didn’t know it was going to have that much of success.
“Once people know, it becomes a format and then it becomes something completely different.
“My biggest sadness is the way people were treated in the following shows.”
2010 X Factor finalist Rebecca Ferguson called for a parliamentary inquiry to protect artists from bullying and Cher Lloyd, who was 17 when she took part in the same series, said she had been ” exploited”.
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