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Katy Perry to Quit "American Idol" Over Producers Making Her Look "Nasty," Source Says

A new report claims the pop star wants to step down as a judge after six seasons.

After six seasons of consistency, it sounds like the American Idol judging panel could be changing again. Ever since the singing competition showed moved from Fox to ABC in 2018, the contestants have been judged by music stars Katy PerryLionel Richie, and Luke Bryan. But now, a new report claims that Perry wants to quit American Idol following the backlash she received during Season 21, which concluded on May 21.

This recent season wasn't the first time that Perry received criticism in her six years on the show, but the backlash did become more intense. She was booed by the audience after giving her feedback to one singer and was slammed online for other things she said on the panel, including comments about one contestant that were labeled "mom-shaming." According to a source, the "Roar" singer blames the American Idol producers for making her look like a "a nasty reality show judge" and is eager to get out.

Read on to find out more about Perry's tenure on the show and why she's reportedly ready to step down and give up a multimillion dollar paycheck.

READ THIS NEXT: Tom Bergeron Just Revealed Why He Was Fired From Dancing With the Stars.

Perry feels like she's been "thrown under the bus," a source claims.

Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan on "American Idol" in May 2023
ABC / Eric McCandless

An unnamed source told the Daily Mail that Perry is ready to leave American Idol, because the hate has gotten to be overwhelming and the show's producers made her look bad.

"Katy feels like [the producers] threw her under the bus. She feels like her comments could have been removed," the source said. "Katy became aware of the harsh criticism. Getting booed really upset her. She was trying to stay in her lane, do her job and go home."

The source added, "Katy's wanted out for some time now, but this season was way too much for her to handle."

She's worried that the show is tarnishing her career.

Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan on "American Idol"
American Idol / YouTube

The source also claimed that Perry believes the negativity drummed up by Idol could overshadow other aspects of her career.

"She went into it thinking she was going to foster young talent. For her good intentions to be misinterpreted it was not what she wanted," the source claimed. "She has accomplished so much in her career and is now being looked at as a nasty reality show judge."

The insider said that Perry's decision would not be "a money thing." They explained, "For her, it is starting to be more of a legacy issue. She does not want her career defined by a talent competition show where she isn't even performing."

Fans accused her of "mom-shaming."

Perry was at the center of two controversies this season. One of these had to do with her reaction to contestant Sara Beth Liebe, a young mother of three. The judges were all surprised that Liebe was 25—Bryan said she looked 16. Then, they were shocked to learn that she has three kids. Perry feigned fainting, and Liebe said, "If Katy lays on the table, I think I'm going to pass out." In response, Perry joked, "Honey, you've been laying on the table too much." Liebe appeared to take the comment in stride.

Perry's jokes were lambasted online, and Liebe spoke out on TikTok later. "It was embarrassing to have that on TV, and it was hurtful," she said (via Page Six). "I think that women supporting and uplifting other women is so cool, and I think that mom-shaming is super lame, and I think that it's hard enough to be a mom, and it's hard enough to be a woman."

Liebe ended up self-eliminating from the show to go home to her family. She later said on her Instagram Story that she was "so over" the situation and "not even mad."

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Perry was also booed by the studio audience.

During an April episode of American Idol, Perry was booed by the audience after her critique of Nutsa Buzaladze's performance. Buzaladze performed "Paris (Ooh La La)" by Grace Potter and the Nocturnals clad in a sparkly dress and boots.

"Nutsa, every time you take the stage, it's like you glitter bomb the stage," Perry said afterward (via People). "Listen, I think one thing I personally would like to see from you is not one piece of glitter the next time. I know that's gonna be hard."

At this, the audience booed. "Yes! Katy got booed," Bryan said. She replied, "OK, first time in six seasons, woo-hoo!" and clarified her remarks about Buzaladze. "What I'm saying is that, I'd like you to flip the script," she told the pop star hopeful. "I think we want to be pulled in by our hearts too. I'd love to see that, and I think America might too."

She was slammed for kissing a contestant in a previous season.

Perry made headlines for an American Idol scandal during her first season on the show in 2018. Contestant Benjamin Glaze revealed during his audition that he had never been kissed. Perry then kissed the 19-year-old on the lips without asking his permission after having him kiss her on the cheek.

Glaze, who did not make it past his audition, spoke to The New York Times about the incident and called it a "tad bit uncomfortable." He said he wanted to save his first kiss for his first relationship.

"Would I have done it if she said, 'Would you kiss me?' No, I would have said no," he told The New York Times. "I know a lot of guys would be like, 'Heck yeah!' But for me, I was raised in a conservative family and I was uncomfortable immediately. I wanted my first kiss to be special."

He then clarified on Instagram, as reported by People, "I do not think I was sexually harassed by Katy Perry and I am thankful for the judges comments and critiques. I was uncomfortable in a sense of how I have never been kissed before and was not expecting it."

Another source claimed Perry "isn't fazed" by negativity.

Katy Perry at the Carol Burnett - 90 Years of Laughter and Love taping in March 2023
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

In early May, a source spoke to Page Six about the backlash toward Perry as a judge and said that the "Dark Horse" singer isn't bothered by it.

"Katy isn't fazed by the backlash," the source said. "This has been a roller-coaster season with a lot of great talent, so she is just doing her job." They added that Perry "has a unique sense of humor that may not always translate well on camera, but she never has any ill intent."

Best Life has reached out for a representative for Perry and to American Idol for comment.

Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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