BEVERLY HILLS, California — By now, you may have caught the latest viral video to rock the Web: a clip from Paula Abdul’s new reality show that has her receiving some bad news about a Hollywood gig and then melting down as only the “American Idol” judge can.
The film in question is August 3’s “Bratz: The Movie” (see “Forever Your Bratz? Paula Abdul Bringing Sassy Dolls To Big Screen” ), and now two very different accounts of her separation from the project are popping up just days before its release.
“We really wanted to work with her,” said 19-year-old actress Janel Parrish, who plays Jade in the tween-empowerment flick. “We wanted to get her in the project, but there was a scheduling thing. But that would have been so great to work with her.” At a recent event for the film, Lionsgate representatives also said scheduling issues prevented Abdul’s involvement.
In the clip from Bravo’s “Hey Paula,” however, the troubled “Idol” judge tells a very different story (see ” ’Hey Paula’ Recap: An Open Letter To Paula Abdul From MTV News’ ’American Idol’ Expert” ). “Just before heading to bed, I decided to check my e-mail, and I discover an e-mail about the ’Bratz’ movie I’ve been working so hard on,” she explains in a voiceover, as we watch the moment unfold. “Now, all of a sudden, I’m infuriated. … After all of these long months of hard work, I’m getting an e-mail that basically says they really don’t need me.”
With her mouth hanging open in shock, the video shows Abdul collapsing into a chair and tearfully bawling, “Where is God when you need Him? Because this does not make any sense!”
The scene was very different in January, when the makers of the film based on the popular toy line issued a press release trumpeting Abdul’s participation. “Lionsgate’s Bratz Franchise Hits High Note as ’American Idol’ Star Paula Abdul Joins Creative Team,” the headline screamed, saying that the former pop star would “play a major character in the film” as well as “play an integral part in several key creative areas, including music, choreography and fashion.”
Whether the young stars were kept in the dark — or are simply toeing the company line — they each claim that the separation wasn’t a matter of anyone’s bratty behavior.
“It was because of scheduling,” reiterated Skyler Shaye, who plays Cloe in the film.
“In the beginning, we heard that she would be involved with the film, and we were all really excited,” added Logan Browning, Sasha in the movie. “[Abdul] is a legend, she’s an icon. But we don’t really know [what happened] — we never really got to make contact with her.”
Looking at the online video, which ran on an episode of “Hey Paula” conspicuously timed to the film’s release, the former “Bratz” producer offers up her own account of why the young actresses never got to meet her. “I was asked to executive produce, choreograph, design the clothing and dolls for the ’Bratz’ movie,” she sobs. “I love what I do. This was going to be a great project for me to work on. Why all of this other B.S. takes place is a mystery that I’m always trying to solve.”
“Maybe later on we’ll get to meet her,” Browning added.
After Abdul’s unceremonious dismissal, the Bratz might not want to hold their breath.
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