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American Exploiter

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The American Idol Truth Tour held its union-studded finale in New York City, protesting substandard working conditions at FremantleMedia, the producer of American Idol, America's Got Talent, Family Feud, The Price is Right and other popular shows.

As a cover band played classic R&B songs from 30 years ago, the Writers Guild, Teamsters and others picketed classic labor law violations from 100 years ago.

The tour, which shadowed this year's American Idol auditions, had hit San Francisco, Phoenix, San Juan and Jacksonville before ending in front of Fremantle's headquarters.

Consistently the country's highest rated show, American Idol embodies the good will and positive attitude necessary to achieve the American Dream. Ironically, if Fremantle had to audition for its own show, it would not get past the opening round.

It would probably go something like this:

The media giant nervously shuffles into the audition room and stands before Simon, Paula and Randy.

Simon: Fremantle, Fremantle. Where have I heard that name before?

Randy: He's paying you $50 million a year, dawg.

Simon: Oh, that Fremantle.

Paula gives Fremantle a hug.

Simon: And what number are you going to do for us today?

Fremantle: 1.8 billion.

Randy: I thought you were doing 4.50.

Fremantle: I'm doing both. $1.8 billion is the profit I made last year. $4.50 is what I pay my production assistants per hour.

Paula: Fremantle, I just want you to know that I totally support your non-compliance with the California Minimum Wage, which is $8.00 an hour.

Simon: I've heard your numbers before, Fremantle. Maybe you could do a different one.

Fremantle: How about "Eighteen"?

Randy: Yes, dawg! The Alice Cooper song.

Fremantle: No, that's how many hours a day without lunch my average worker works.

Simon: Although the greedy businessman in me is pleased to be getting a quarter of a billion dollars over five years, my television persona compels me to say you are simply the most appalling media company I have ever seen.

Randy: Your numbers are just the same old song and dance we heard during the writers' strike, dawg. Now don't tell me you pull this unfair jazz on your writers.

Fremantle: We don't call them writers.

Simon: What do you call them?

Fremantle: Producers. Or "Hey you." Who cares? They don't get credits, anyway.

Paula: Fremantle, I just want you to know I'm totally behind your not giving your loyal employees overtime, adequate meal or rest breaks, or health care benefits.

Randy: Wow, dawg. Your record is worse than Taylor Hicks'.

Simon: I've heard enough. Ryan, get this corporate Sanjaya out of here.

Ryan Seacrest leads Fremantle into the hallway for an interview. Fremantle cries until the camera is turned off, then heads to another of its sweatshops, Million Dollar Password.