The unmasking of disgraced former Donald Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani prompted two Masked Singer judges to leave the stage during a taping for the show’s upcoming seventh season. According to Deadline, panelists Ken Jeong and Robin Thicke “quickly left the stage in protest” when Guiliani was unmasked.
While Deadline did not reveal what costume the former N.Y. mayor wore on the episode — which won’t air until next month — it did note that the theme for the season is “The Good, the Bad and the Cuddly” and that fellow judges Jenny McCarthy Wahlberg and Nicole Scherzinger stayed on stage to chat with Giuliani, who has repeatedly supported Trump’s false claim that he won the 2020 presidential election. A Fox spokesperson told Billboard the network is not commenting on the report.
While the popular prime time singing competition has typically trafficked in non-controversial contestants from the worlds of music, sports and movies/TV, it’s previous dip into political theater — a March 2020 appearance by failed Republican vice presidential candidate and reality TV star Sarah Palin — elicited some criticism. According to the report, Thicke and Jeong eventually returned to the stage.
Variety reported that when asked for comment Fox said that the production does not respond to leaks in an effort to maintain the series’ policy against confirming “spoilers.” The Masked Singer has a stringent security policy aimed at hiding the identities of the contestants until they are revealed on the show, with Giuliani’s brief stint reportedly slated to air during a March episode of the series, which returns March 9.
The reaction to the report about Giuliani elicited some harsh words from CNN New Day host John Berman, who derisively said on Thursday morning (Feb. 3) “next week Harvey Weinstein… next week Manuel Noriega, great job guys!” in reference to the former film producer and convicted sex offender and the drug-dealing, authoritarian former Panamanian dictator. Seth MacFarlane, who frequently criticizes Fox — home of his long-running animated show Family Guy — tweeted, “anything for ratings, right?”
Check out some of the reaction to the Giuliani news below.
Anything for ratings, right? https://t.co/woeXU6oZQI
— Seth MacFarlane (@SethMacFarlane) February 3, 2022
Shows like "Masked Singer" and "DWTS" too often operate as a disgrace-laundering operation, helping give the impression that people like Sean Spicer and Rudy Giuliani are figures of innocuously adorable mediocrity worthy of having their status buffed from notoriety to fame.
— Daniel Fienberg (@TheFienPrint) February 3, 2022
Let this be a warning to anyone who dares try to overthrow America: we will rehabilitate your reputation https://t.co/2Zc1xSJ0wr
— Zack Bornstein (@ZackBornstein) February 3, 2022
Imagine deciding that it was time to laundry the image of one Rudy Giuliani by making him the masked singer.
— Molly Jong-Fast (@MollyJongFast) February 3, 2022