Tuesday, May 26, 2009
AT&T Admits Letting American Idol Fans Vote Against Gay Singer Adam Lambert For Free
AT&T, one of the biggest corporate sponsors of “American Idol,” influenced the outcome of this year’s competition by providing phones for free text-messaging services and lessons in casting blocks of votes at parties organized by christian Conservative fans of Kris Allen, the Arkansas singer who was the winner of the show last week.
American Idol Representatives of AT&T, whose mobile phone network is the only one that can be used to cast “American Idol” votes via text message, provided the free text-messaging services at two parties in Arkansas after the final performance episode of “American Idol” last week, according to the company and people at the events.
There were no similar efforts to provide free texting services to supporters of Adam Lambert, who finished as the runner-up to Mr. Allen.
Since then, angry supporters of Mr. Lambert have flooded online chat boards with messages claiming irregularities in the competition’s voting.
Officials of Fox Broadcasting declined to discuss the situation. In a statement issued Tuesday, a spokesman for AT&T said, “In Arkansas, we were invited to attend the local watch parties organized by the community. A few local employees brought a small number of demo phones with them and provided texting tutorials to those who were interested.”