'American Idol' Airs Laine Hardy Performance Days After His Arrest
American Idol is taking some heat on social media after it chose not to cut a performance by Laine Hardy from a 20th anniversary reunion special that aired Monday night.
The show opened with a performance, taped in early April, by Hardy and fellow Season 17 competitor Laci Kaye Booth.
“I liked Laine but WTF, isn’t this a bit tone deaf?,” read one tweet. Another asked ABC: “What on earth made you think putting #LaineHardy on the air was a good idea?!?!”
One person called Hardy’s inclusion “shameful, disappointing & triggering to many people” as well as “disrespectful” to the alleged victim.
Hardy, 21, was released from jail last Friday after being charged with "Interception and Disclosure of Wire, Electronic, or Oral Communication.” He is accused of spying on his ex-girlfriend with a voice-activated recording device in her room at a Louisiana State University residence.
“I understand that my career has thrust me into the public spotlight, and I embrace that wholeheartedly as my entire world belongs to my music and my fans,” Hardy wrote on Facebook a day before turning himself in.
“However, due to the sensitive nature of this allegation, I humbly ask for privacy at this time. I have the utmost respect for the law and will assist in their investigation as needed moving forward.”
ABC made it clear during the broadcast that Hardy’s performance was pre-recorded – but some viewers believe that wasn’t enough.
“So we are just fine with letting this Laine Hardy footage air and not editing this out? A little weird,” read one tweet. Another opined: “Previously recorded? So maybe don’t show it then.”