WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- ABC and American Idol are coming under fire after featuring 16-year-old Claudia Conway, the daughter of former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and Lincoln Project co-founder George Conway.
- The teen had become famous on TikTok, where she vocally criticized her mother’s work, her parents’ relationship, and her shocking accusations regarding abuse from her mother.
- Viewers slammed the show for exploiting her for her emotional experiences and showing her parents in a good light.
Critics have slammed ABC for featuring 16-year-old Claudia Conway on American Idol.
Claudia Conway is the daughter of former White House counselor Kellyanne Conway and Lincoln Project co-founder George Conway. Both her parents stepped back from their positions, citing family issues.
The 16-year-old first became famous through her TikTok account, where she criticized her mother’s work with former President Donald Trump and her strained relationship with her parents. She also accused her mother of abuse and posting a topless photo of her on social media.
She auditioned for American Idol last fall prior to the abuse allegations surfacing. The network and the show producers decided to feature her, which was heavily promoted in the weeks leading to Sunday night’s episode.
Her father escorted her to her audition while her mother made an appearance in a video giving advice and encouraging words.
Kellyanne had said, “This is your time to shine. But remember, honey, winners are people who are willing to lose.”
Upon recognizing Claudia, one of the Idol judges, Katy Perry, expressed concern and asked her if she was okay.
“No, but yes!” Claudia answered with a laugh.
In a span of two segments, Claudia was shown singing Rihanna’s “Love on the Brain,” and Adele’s “When We Were Young.” She advanced to the show’s Hollywood finals round, ensuring her future appearances.
Several viewers slammed the episode for being exploitative.
Variety TV critic Daniel D’Addario wrote, “Claudia Conway’s appearance on ‘American Idol’ — the worst sort of exploitation of a minor that reality TV has done in memory — ought to prompt real soul-searching among ABC executives.”
Critics also slammed how the show featured her parents in a favorable light.
Journalist Soledad O’Brien tweeted, “Good work by American Idol in their efforts to rehab the reputation of horrible human @Kellyannepolls.”
St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Aisha Sultan pointed out that “being in a high pressure media spotlight… is the last thing Claudia Conway needs right now.”
Several others called the show “disgusting” and “gross,” and wondered why Kellyanne is featured if she is under investigation for abuse. Some even expressed frustration about why the show is still ongoing.