A singer who once worked with Britney Spears has accused the X Factor of censoring his emotional coming out during a failed audition for the FOX network talent show.
On Wednesday’s first episode of the new X-Factor season in the US, Don Philip’s audition was included in the broadcast but any reference to his being gay was cut out.
“Is gay bad for FOX? I didn’t do anything bad. They edited the gay out of me,” Don told RumorFix.
In June, when the incident was filmed, Philip surprised Spears, now an X Factor judge, when he appeared on stage at the San Francisco auditions.
During his audition, a weeping Philip came out to the pop-star after 13 years: “At the time I didn’t think I was worthy. I didn’t think you thought it was okay that I am gay,” he said to her.
Spears replied: “I think it is fine you are gay” although she and the other judges were critical of the state of his voice and chose to send him home.
An X Factor spokesperson told RumorFix, “Mr. Philips’ sexual orientation was not something that any of the judges or producers felt was relevant to this audition”.
Philip, however, claims that the producers and judges actually pressured him to come out.
“When I got on stage, [the judges] chimed in saying, ‘What is your secret?’ ” Philip told the New York Post, adding, “I knew immediately what they were talking about. I only had one secret.”
He went on to say:“After that thing, I went home and had thoughts of [suicide]. I was so destroyed that they set me up.”
Philip believes that the cuts to the audition are “sending the wrong message. It’s like gay is being censored.” He added. “I don’t understand it. Aren’t they a reality show? Is it too real?”
Philip, now a vocal coach, toured with Spears in the early part of her career and sang with her on the duet I Will Still Love You on her 1999 debut album.