NEW YORK – A Florida college professor has slapped American Idol with an age-discrimination lawsuit because he was told he's too old to try out for the hit talent show.
Drew Cummings, 50, a visiting professor of film and television at Miami-Dade Community College, said he was turned away from a Nov. 2 tryout in Miami Beach because the Fox TV show's rules say auditioners cannot be older than 24.
He has filed complaints with the state and federal agencies that enforce anti-discrimination laws.
"I find it hard to believe that age plays a part in determining the next American Idol," Cummings said in a prepared statement.
"Age discrimination runs rampant in the entertainment industry and corporate America. It's time that someone did something about it," he said.
Calls to Cummings' office at the college were not returned yesterday.
Cummings' attorney, Frederick Kramer, told a reporter that state and federal officials, including those from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, have 180 days to review the charges.
A Fox official said: "We haven't seen the complaint and therefore can't comment." Fox is a division of News Corp., which also owns The New York Post and foxnews.com.
The show auditions thousands of wannabe pop stars from across the country and then whittles the list down to handful of hopefuls who compete before judges -- including returning barb-tongued Brit Simon Cowell -- for several weeks in Los Angeles.
The winner is awarded a big-bucks record deal.