‘American Idol’ Founding Producer Wylleen May Exits Show After Internal Investigation

Since Katy Perry announced her exit on American Idol, fans and even her fellow judges Lionel Richie and Luke Bryan speculated as to who might take over. While the show remains silent on the matter, another longtime contributor of the show is also leaving. Being part of the show since it launched back in 2002, it appears executive Wylleen May decided to leave. Although her timing comes after she was part of an internal investigation surrounding American Idol, the former executive promises it has nothing to do with the findings. 

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Speaking about her decision to leave, May was sure to clear the air surrounding the investigation. “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.”

[RELATED: “Absolutely Not”: Fellow ‘American Idol’ Winner Joins Kelly Clarkson in Saying No To Replacing Katy Perry]

Wylleen May Thankful For Her Time On ‘American Idol’

Throughout American Idol’s run on both Fox and ABC, May continued to help propel the show into the future. And proving her exit comes with no animosity, she said, “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.”

While part of the show for over two decades, May looked ahead to her future on other projects.  “I will forever cherish my time with Idol, and hope I am remembered for my experience, passion, and dedication to my role. All we want for ourselves is to know that our work had a lasting impact. 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.”

As for Fremantle, the company behind American Idol, a spokesperson seemed to reiterate May’s claims, admitting, “The decision to make staffing changes for the next season was not based on the conclusion of any investigation.”

(Photo by Momodu Mansaray/Getty Images)

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