Rolling Stone

When young singers hoping for their big break aren’t covering Motown songs or plugging Coca-Cola on the stage of American Idol, the show’s star personalities are usually squabbling over petty slights in an attempt to fill air time. A lot of these seemingly pointless disagreements came care of Paula Abdul and Simon Cowell, but it seems new judge Ellen DeGeneres is game to carry on the tradition. “Simon really is mean to people sometimes,” DeGeneres said in the next issue of Entertainment Weekly, out Friday. “If he’s rude, I’m going to let him know he’s rude.”

When confronted with the criticism that too much of that banter is homophobic — for several seasons, Cowell and host Ryan Seacrest found it amusing to insinuate the other was gay — Cowell jumped to his own defense. “We are the least racist, homophobic show in the world,” he argued. “What we do have, thank God, is a sense of humor. I hate political correctness. I wouldn’t go into any show saying anything is off-limits.”

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