'American Idol' Producer Speaks Out After Leaving the Show

In a wave of significant departures, 'American Idol' bids farewell to its long-time executive in charge of production, Wylleen May, following the departure of beloved judge Katy Perry.

AceShowbiz - After 22 remarkable years, Wylleen May has exited her role as the Executive in Charge of Production for "American Idol". Fremantle, the production company behind the iconic series, confirmed that May's departure follows the conclusion of season 22 on May 19.

"Wylleen has played a crucial role in helping build the lasting legacy of American Idol over the course of 22 seasons. She steered the production to enduring success, and we are deeply grateful for her contributions and dedication to the show," a Fremantle spokeswoman told Deadline.

May's decision to leave has sparked speculation due to an HR investigation she was involved in last year. Addressing the rumors, May clarified, "Yes, at the end of 2023, I was the subject of an HR investigation following a complaint about how I interacted with certain members of my team."

I fully and completely cooperated with this investigation, and it was closed quickly without any action taken. The decision to move on from me to a new EIC is not related, and any implication otherwise is completely misleading and inaccurate."

Fremantle echoed her sentiments, insisting that the staffing changes were not influenced by the investigation's outcome.

Reflecting on her time with the show, May expressed her gratitude and optimism for the future. "It is hard to express the gratitude I have to the team at Fremantle and American Idol, the place I knew as home for the last 22 years. It may sound cliche, but it was my absolute honor to work day in and day out with people I consider to be some of the most talented, dedicated, and devoted in the business. I will miss you terribly," she said.

"I am excited for my next journey, and what that will bring. Sometimes you need a little push forward, and I am grateful for all of it - beginning, middle, and end."

Adding another layer to the show's transitions, Katy Perry has also concluded her judging tenure with the completion of season 22. Perry, who joined Idol in its 16th season on ABC, announced earlier this year that she would be stepping down. "This fall, in September, I'm going to be doing this huge music festival in Brazil called Rock in Rio. So I think this will probably be my last season for 'Idol,' " Perry revealed on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!".

"American Idol" has been a springboard for numerous music careers since its debut on Fox in 2002. The initial judging panel, consisting of Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, and Randy Jackson, alongside host Ryan Seacrest, became iconic figures in television history. Throughout its run, Idol has produced stars such as Kelly Clarkson, Carrie Underwood, and Jennifer Hudson. As the show moves into its next chapter, the production team and audience await the outcomes of these significant changes.

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