FOX addressed one of its most controversial competitors on its hit series, The Masked Singer, insisting that the network does not regret inviting former New York City Mayor and Donald Trump ally Rudy Giuliani onto their reality show.
Giuliani, whose unmasking led judge Ken Jeong to walk off set, was revealed as a contestant on the show in February, months before his episode aired in April. At the time, FOX did not publicly comment on Giuliani’s performance.
On the FOX executive Upfronts call Monday, Rob Wade, President of Alternative Entertainment and Specials for FOX Entertainment, finally addressed the controversial moment, and said the network stands by its decision to include Giuliani in The Masked Singer.
“Absolutely no regrets,” Wade said. “The Masked Singer is all about delivering jaw-dropping moments… My only regret or surprise is that the reveal was spoiled.”
His comments come after Jeong left the Masked Singer set when Giuliani was revealed. The judge got up from his seat and proclaimed, “I’m done,” while the former mayor performed “Bad to the Bone” dressed in a Jack in the Box costume. Jeong’s co-judge, Robin Thicke, also walked off set in response to Giuliani’s reveal.
While Giuliani’s presence caused a stir both in the studio and online, he’s not the first contestant to raise eyebrows on The Masked Singer. The show was criticized in May 2020 for including Sarah Palin among its competitors. The former vice presidential candidate was unmasked as the Bear, surprising the judges and audience members.
Following her reveal, Palin said she joined The Masked Singer to give a “walking middle finger to the haters,” per Entertainment Weekly.
“It was all about the mask,” Palin said on the Masked Singer after-show at the time. “I knew it would be so refreshing and so freeing and well, in a real respectful way, kind of a walking middle finger to the haters out there in the world where I could do whatever I wanted to do and not care what anybody said because they wouldn’t know until after the fact. So it all worked out.”
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