A right-wing Christian website has blamed the decline in ratings of the recent series of American Idol on the fact that a “lesbian activist” is one of the judges.

According to Gary McCullough, the director of Christian Newswire, Ellen DeGeneres’ “sexual behaviour” is to blame for the show’s ratings slump by making it no longer “family oriented entertainment”.

“DeGeneres’ ‘Yes, I have loved a woman,’ comment from the May 11th show, was the most obvious lesbian-one-liner, but it wasn’t the only one, and it is hurting the show’s ratings,” said McCullough on the US website.

“At this moment in entertainment history, network television is on a pro-homosexuality bender. The producers of American Idol chose to be a part of this push; it was a huge mistake. The consequences of this choice were a drop in market share and a reduction in advertising dollars. While many entertainers who profess an alternate sexual lifestyle are individually accepted and enjoyed by the public – when sexual behaviour becomes their identifying trait in a specific broadcast, it limits the audience they will draw.

“Beyond that, it actually drives away a significant market share of parents and teens who used to watch the show together, until mom and dad decided that the subtle promotion of an ‘alternate lifestyle’ to their kids was not worth the entertainment trade off. Sorry Ellen, you’re just not worth it,” said McCullough.

He also predicted that DeGeneres will be replaced in the next season of the popular talent contest. McCullough fails, however, to account for the fact that DeGeneres’ talk show remains one of the most popular in the USA.

The recent ninth season of American Idol saw the show’s lowest rating since 2004; most blaming this on the relatively weak pool of contestants chosen this year.

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