Twitter viewers accuse X Factor’s Simon Cowell of sexism after telling a contestant to remove her makeup
Saturday night’s episode of X Factor saw Simon Cowell tell 17-year-old finalist Samantha Lavery to “take all the makeup off” for her audition at the Judges’ Houses, and viewers on Twitter are not happy about it.
We all know that Simon Cowell is not one to hold back when it comes to criticism, often playing up to his role as the ‘villain’ judge on X Factor. However, his decision to make a contestant change her appearance before being allowed to sing this weekend was just a step to far for many viewers this weekend.
The Judges Houses’ episode saw Simon describing the Scottish wildcard as ‘distant’ to his guest Spice Girls judges Mel B and Emma Bunton.
Before even allowing Samantha the chance to sing, Simon told the 17-year-old, “Samantha I wish we had met without what you think is your pop star image.”
He added: “With you I think we’ve had a bit of a mask put up. I’d almost like to see you without so much make-up.”
The comments felt a little rich coming from Mr. Cowell, who is known for having his own fair share of cosmetic work done and sat there masked behind a pair of aviator sunglasses as he said: “All I’m saying is I want to peel away the mask. Does that sound bad?”
Yes, Simon. It did sound bad.
The request caused quite some controversy on Twitter, with fans of the show complaining that Simon was shaming the female contestant with sexist remarks:
— Jo Ormiston (@jo_ormiston) October 1, 2016
Thank you @SimonCowell for reminding us that women aren’t allowed to dress how we want – by shaming a 17 yr old on national TV. #XFactor
— Zarah Sultana (@zarahsultana) October 1, 2016
Simon Cowell telling a girl to take off her makeup so he can see the real her with about 50 grands worth of botox in his face ok?? #xfactor
— c (@ChantelleBREEZY) October 1, 2016
Jesus. Did Simon Cowell just tell that young girl to take her make up off? That’s possibly the worst thing I’ve seen him do on #XFactor
— Ryan (@ryan_simmonds) October 1, 2016
Guest judges Emma and Mel did not look impressed by Cowell either, and jumped to Samantha’s defence, adamant that she should be “allowed to experiment” and that it’s “what kids do”.
Indeed, when Samantha returned to audition looking fresher faced, it did feel like the success of her audition was more strongly linked to her appearance than her vocal abilities. Not the best message to send out to young girls, Simon.
X Factor continues Saturday at 8pm on ITV.