Watch Julianne Hough Confront Simon Cowell Over His Sexist Habit On ‘AGT’

Jill O'Rourke
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Julianne Hough Simon Cowell AGTNBC

AGT judge Julianne Hough isn’t going to put up with Simon Cowell’s sexist anticts, as she proved in Tuesday night’s AGT Judge Cuts new episode. When Simon Cowell made his trademark “meow” noise during Julianne’s critique of an all-female act, Julianne spoke up.

It started after high-kick act the Emerald Belles performed during the Judge Cuts round. Julianne told the group that their routine was “extremely tight,” but added, “It still had a bit of a high school element to it.” Simon, who is a fan of the group, leaned into the microphone to say, “Meow.” It prompted laughter from the audience.

Julianne Hough vs. Simon Cowell on ‘AGT’

How Did Julianne React To Simon’s Meow?

“Do not start with the meows,” Julianne told Simon as soon as he made the sound. She then finished providing her commentary to the group, telling them to “up your game” but emphasizing that they still did “a great job.”

Afterward, Julianne turned to the other judges and said, “Somebody kick him the next time he meows.” Guest judge Brad Paisley questioned whether the noise was supposed to refer to a “catfight,” to which Julianne said “Yeah, like I’m a cat”. Brad then confirmed to Simon, “Yeah, you’re gonna get in trouble.”

Simon and Julianne argur over Emerald Belles High Kick Girl Group From Texas

Julianne then joked that she was going to spit her drink in Simon’s face, prompting him to say, “I take it back. I take it back. I won’t ever say that again.”

Was Simon’s meawing Julianne Sexist?

The short answer is yes, Simon’s “meow” comment was sexist. It’s belittling to suggest that women disagreeing with or respectfully criticizing one another constitutes a “catfight.” Of course Simon didn’t meow when Howie Mandel suggested the group shouldn’t move on, because Howie is a man.

It also undermines Julianne, who was providing critique of something she’s extremely knowledgeable about — dancing. Not to mention how hypocritical it is that Simon, who made a name for himself as the mean judge on American Idol, is saying anything about another judge providing constructive criticism.

Simon Cowell Has A History With The “meow”

Simon has a habit of behaving childishly with the female judges he works with, especially Mel B. He frequently insulted Mel B during her time as a judge on AGT, Including using the same cat “Meaw” tactic inurupting her commetary. Mel B wasn’t having it and faught back in real Spice Girl fashion [Watch video below]. He has also done it on Britain’s Got Talent.

Simon Cowell “Meaw’s” Mel B but the Spice Girl fights back

‘BGT’ Judge Alesha Dixon On Simon’s “Meaw”

In 2017, BGT judges Alesha Dixon and Amanda Holden spoke out about Simon’s sexist habit. As Alesha said, “Amanda and I can’t say one thing to a female without him making a meowing noise, it’s so annoying and needs to stop.” Amanda added, “The minute we say we don’t like a female contestant for one reason or another, he thinks we’re being catty, which is ridiculous.”

GettyImages ‘BGT’ judges Simon Cowerll with Amanda Holden & Alesha Dixon

There isn’t a day that goes past on the auditions without Simon meowing or making cat noises. It’s his own little joke that only he’s in on and only he finds funny. But the most annoying thing about it is you’re trying to concentrate and all you can hear is him meowing. 

Britain’s Got Talent Judge Alesha Dixon about Simon Cowell

Simon may have told Julianne he won’t do it again, but something tells me he still doesn’t take it seriously — or understand why the comment is such a problem in the first place.

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