September 24, 2011 18:51
Simon Cowell: 'Sometimes 'X Factor' crosses the line'
TV mogul admits regret over treatment of mentally unstable talent-show contestants
Reacting to recent criticism that the talent show exploits delusional or fragile characters, he said it made him feel very uneasy.
Speaking to The Guardian, Cowell said: "Nothing is ever done too maliciously. I know sometimes we cross the line. We've had people who've come on and within five seconds we've said, 'Don't even go there. Too fragile'.
"I learned that with Susan Boyle. I remember the day after she came second and had that awful meltdown and I genuinely thought, 'Maybe we have failed here. Maybe we shouldn't be doing this.' But she wasn't a happy person."
The X Factor's most-recent controversy came after deluded hopeful Ceri Rees was mocked during yet another disastrous audition, an incident which involved Gary Barlow looking through the contents of the 53-year-old's handbag.
It was the fourth consecutive year Rees had been on the show and laughed at.
I understand the influence we have. I'm also trying to think of it as an entertainment show.
Elsewhere in the interview, Cowell opened up about Cheryl Cole's departure from X Factor USA and revealed that he has paid off several ex-girlfriends.
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