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October 10, 2015

Elderly Man Sues 'The X Factor' For Making Him Too Tired to Perform Well

by Chris Harnick, posted Aug 9th 2011 11:20AM
Simon CowellIf you find it exhausting just watching the hours of audition footage that reality competitions like 'American Idol' and 'The X Factor' air at the beginning of each season, just try actually auditioning.

According a new lawsuit filing obtained by TheWrap, an elderly man is suing 'The X Factor' for making him too tired to perform at a competitive level.

Hyman Marks, 86, his wife Helen, 78, and his son Stephen, 54, are suing Fox, 'The X Factor' and Simon Cowell, claiming their chances of stardom were destroyed because they became too exhausted to perform after being put through a "physical ordeal."

The lawsuit states Hyman Marks once had a recording contract in the 1950s, but gave a career in show business up to become an educator.

The father-son duo made it through three rounds of auditions and were set to perform in front of 'The X Factor' judging panel of Cowell, Paula Abdul, Nicole Scherzinger and L.A. Reid. According to the lawsuit, the Marks family was given special attention because of the novelty of having a father and son competing.

At their set audition time in Miami in June 2011, the Marks family was interviewed and filmed several hours of B-roll in temperatures exceeding 90 degrees. The lawsuit states forcing the two elderly adults and their asthmatic son to get in and out of car and walk into the building housing the audition was "clearly discriminatory since no other contestant that day was forced to endure that level of physical and mental exertion."

Along with the outdoor filming, the lawsuit states Hyman and Stephen filmed staged scenes, including dancing wildly in front of mirrors. All the extra filming reportedly left them "physically spent," unable to perform in their peak conditions.

"As a result of this grueling and discriminatory physical and mental exertion, the judges and the audience never got to see the real Hy Marks and Stephen Marks that day," the suit says.

Cowell voted no, citing Hyman's age and possible inability to handle the stress of the competition, but the suit says if 'The X Factor' judges had seen the "real" Hyman, unaffected by the hours of filming, they would've had another opinion.

The family is seeking another chance at 'The X Factor.' If not, they're asking the court to award them a total of $3 million, $1 million each.

This isn't the only lawsuit 'The X Factor' is facing. 'American Idol' creator Simon Fuller is suing for a stake in the Fox reality series.

Tell us: Do you think the Marks family should be given another chance?


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August 22 2011 at 4:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Yes i certainly do think they should be givien another chance!! My grandson also was put through all the grueling things to get ready then was only seen by a 25 yrs. old "Judge" that knew none of the songs or people he was trying to do for him....he is a national. singer/impressionist that does over 150 voices and sounds just like the person and is the most talented person around, never got a chance!! so yes...hope someone does make it after all the crap they put them through. just not right. and ....If Simon had seen them as well as my boy...Kevin Adams...they would both be IN!!!! this is just not done right and they need to change the way of selecting people so they are not "done in" when they do get up there!

August 10 2011 at 11:45 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

so if they give them a second audition and the judges say NO again will they go away?????

August 10 2011 at 4:06 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

no not at all and i think they;re wasting their time with a law suit

August 10 2011 at 3:31 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Get over it. From the sound of things, they were put through LESS than most popular performers have to go through on a Regular Basis. If you're going on a show like that, you are hoping to achieve that status.

August 10 2011 at 2:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I think they are owed nothing. If they couldn't handle the auditions and the hoops that the music world puts on its stars then they (XFactor) were correct and just in letting them go on their way. Regardless on whether or not the judges saw the "real" Hymann Marks or not...they have to be able to withstand the grueling things stars are put through...Hy..surely isn't going to be babied in the music world ...so why even get started. I hope they are all three awarded one penny each..so rather than singing.."Pennies from heaven"..they will only be singing..."Three coins in a fountain".

August 10 2011 at 2:05 AM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply

No way!!!! If the simple tryout was to taxing on their physical condition and affected the performance what would they do if it was full time job? They are after making money that is obvious. After all anybody disqualified or voted off can make claims of suffering mistreatment or prejudice.

August 10 2011 at 1:13 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply

From what i gather, arent long grueling hours expected in show business? I feel bad they worked so hard and couldnt cut it. I think the law suit is rediculous. The coffee lady should never have won her suit. she was an idiot for placing hot coffee in her lap while driving. winning her law suit just opened the door for more rediculous law suits.
You and you alone are responsible for your actions. This man is 86, said he had a recording contract when he was younger, he should have expected long hours more then the average person going on these shows.

August 10 2011 at 1:02 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to morrism462's comment

(The 'coffee lady" did not get 4 million like many think. She got I believe 210,000 and this was because McDonalds had been repeatedly warned that the coffee temp was above what is allowed because it was at a burning temperatire. The 'award' was a message to McDonalds. pure and simple. And these folks have a goniff for a lawyer and hope he gets fined fro bringing a frivolous lawsuit. (I have been writing about my lawsuit at http://apainedlife.blogspot.com/ - the other side of it, legit suit, perjured testimony and yet........

August 10 2011 at 1:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Good no more stupid shows and commercials!!!!!!!!!!!!!

August 10 2011 at 12:25 AM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply

Money hungry ******. Need I say more? Tired of this sue happy nation we live in. Get a job and WORK for your month people!

August 10 2011 at 12:19 AM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Heathiep2's comment

The man is 86 and you want him to get a job.

August 10 2011 at 4:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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