‘American Idol’ Sends Cease And Desist To Senior Citizens’ Charity Event

by | PopCrush
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Jordin Sparks proved at 17 that even a kid could win American Idolbut the show just made it very clear it’s got no stage space for the graying (except for you, Taylor Hicks).

According to the New York Daily News, the reality-competition show, which will officially end in 2016 after 15 seasons, has sent a cease and desist letter to a Brooklyn senior citizen contest called “Brooklyn Senior Idol,” claiming the neighborhood production violates trademark law. Now, “Senior Idol”—which raises money for Xaverian High School’s music program—is in limbo as it heads toward its ninth installment in October.

“While our client appreciates your enthusiasm for the American Idol and Idol brands, as a federal trademark owner, FremantleMedia cannot allow the unauthorized use of the Brooklyn Senior Idol Mark in connection with talent competition services,” read a letter from FremantleMedia North America spokesman Holmes Weinberg.

Sen. Martin Golden (R-Brooklyn), who’s hosted the event for seven years, has asked “Senior Idol” contestants and fans to help him rename the contest to avoid potential legal action, but not all of his constituents are in such a diplomatic mood.

“It’s a little ridiculous, but that’s the way people are—they have too much time on their hands,” last year’s “Senior Idol” winner Anthony Neve told The Brooklyn Paper. “I don’t think one has anything to do with the other. This is not televised, this is for a charity.”

And though the odds would likely be stacked against the small-time event if the dispute were to reach litigation, a local Brooklyn attorney has come out swinging for the seniors.

“In the long run, Goliath may not get slain, but he is going to get dinged up, and I think it’s going provide a lot of entertainment and give [Sen. Golden] a lot of fun,” attorney Robert Howe told The Paper.

What do you think—has Idol gone a little too far, especially as it takes its last few breaths?

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