Los Angeles, CA – Nigel Lythgoe, a prominent TV producer in both the UK and US, announced his decision to step aside as a judge on the reality TV show So You Think You Can Dance. This comes after several lawsuits accusing him of sexual assault, including one filed by star Paula Abdul. Sony Pictures Television’s 19 Entertainment, the co-producer of the show, has opened an investigation into the allegations.
Lythgoe, who is also the co-creator and executive producer of the Fox dance competition series, stated that he made the decision voluntarily out of concern for the show’s focus on dance and dancers. He expressed that he would dedicate himself to clearing his name and restoring his reputation.
Abdul, a former American Idol judge for the first eight seasons of the show, filed a lawsuit alleging that Lythgoe assaulted her twice. The first incident took place in the early 2000s during her time on American Idol, and the second occurred about a decade later when she was a judge on So You Think You Can Dance. According to the lawsuit, Abdul did not take action at the time due to fears of losing her job and contractual limitations on speaking out.
In addition to Abdul’s lawsuit, two former contestants of another show produced by Lythgoe, All-American Girl, accused him of sexual assault and battery. Lythgoe has strongly denied these allegations and intends to fight them.
The investigation into Lythgoe’s alleged actions by Sony Pictures Television’s 19 Entertainment is ongoing. Meanwhile, the 18th season of So You Think You Can Dance is scheduled to begin in March.
These recent lawsuits against Lythgoe have raised serious concerns about misconduct in the entertainment industry. The allegations serve as a reminder of the importance of creating safe and respectful environments for individuals in the workplace.
As the investigation continues, Lythgoe will temporarily step back from his role on the show. This decision highlights the need for thorough examination and accountability when serious allegations are made in the entertainment industry.
Overall, the lawsuits filed against Nigel Lythgoe have sparked an important conversation about sexual assault in the entertainment industry. The ongoing investigation will determine the validity of the claims, and its outcome will have significant implications for the future of So You Think You Can Dance.