TV Article

Hand Jive

Simon Cowell denies obscene ''Idol'' gesture. Cowell says he was just resting his head on his middle finger Tuesday night, not gesturing

Simon Cowell | 'IDOL' HANDS Cowell denies that he made an obscene finger gesture
Image credit: Simon Cowell: Dan Herrick-KPA/KEYSTONE Pictures/Newscom
'IDOL' HANDS Cowell denies that he made an obscene finger gesture

Is Simon Cowell's middle finger the new Janet Jackson's nipple? Probably not, but a few viewers of Tuesday night's ''American Idol'' complained to the FCC after they noticed Cowell holding his middle finger to the side of his face during a debate with Paula Abdul, according to Reuters. Cowell, who had quickly switched to his index finger, denied any meaning to the outstretched digit.

''I certainly would never make a gesture like that towards Paula or on national television,'' he said in a statement. ''Sometimes a different finger. Sometimes two at the same time, or God help me, even the whole hand. I never thought about it until now.'' Fox, meanwhile, told Reuters that its censors agreed with Cowell, seeing nothing obscene about his finger placement – they left the moment intact when the show aired on the West Coast. But don't be surprised if you see Simon in mittens next week.

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Originally posted Mar 25, 2004
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