Angelenos who donated to the Clay Aiken For Congress campaign feel taken advantage of after hearing that the former American Idol star landed a docu-series with Esquire after he lost his bid for congress.
According to Karen Ocamb from FrontiersLA, a Sept. 30 fundraiser hosted by Michael Corbett of Extra is a topic of debate. Attendees claim they were asked to sign release forms to appear on a BBC documentary, which would not air in the U.S.
They insist that the document failed to mention details of an Esquire show.
Actor-producer Steven Tyler, organizer of the Los Angeles fundraiser, is reportedly leading the protest to have the footage from the Southern California event be left out of the series. Tyler took his issues to Aiken through a personal letter:
I am sorry for the loss on your bid for Congress, but apparently you had yourself covered with a reality TV show deal the entire time, just in case you didn’t win. I cannot speak for the NC Voters or contributors, but I can speak for myself and many of your Los Angeles supporters when I say we feel duped, taken advantage of and lied to.
Ocamb, who also attended the September event, said a few of the donors were so impressed by Aiken that they gave additional contributions while exiting the fundraiser. Now, many of them are questioning the singer’s motives and even regret donating to his campaign, according to Tyler.
“Had the LA donors known you would personally benefit from their donations and appearance at the event — they would not have donated to your campaign,” said Tyler.
Sources close to Aiken urge that the singer did not receive payment while filming the documentary, nor did his camera crew. The four-hour special is described as “an intimate look at the hope of victory and, ultimately, the disappointment of defeat.”
The untitled series will air on the Esquire Network in early 2015.