'American Idol' runner-up threatens to sue Popeyes after being called a 'white boy'

AMERICAN IDOL
"American Idol" finalist Bo Bice looks on at left as host Ryan Seacrest announces Carrie Underwood's name as the winner in 2005. According to billboard.com, Bice is ticked off after being called "that white boy" at a Popeyes fast food restaurant.

IT HAS BEEN a long time since American Idol season 4 runner-up Bo Bice made the Tattle column, probably forever.

But according to billboard.com, Bice is ticked off after being called "that white boy" at a Popeyes fast food restaurant at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Bice, who's now fronting Blood, Sweat & Tears, sounds like he wanted to sing "You've Made Me So Very Unhappy" after the incident and is threatening legal action.

"The three ladies behind the counter asked whose food it was," Bice told FOX 5 news. "Just when I turned around, one of them said, 'that white boy.' "

(Tattle timeout: Has Tattle become inured to hate speech? Given all the offensive stuff said about people of all races and nationalities over the past few months, is this really that offensive? Is Bice concerned about being seen and objectified only as a young, male Caucasian? We get called worse in most reader emails.)

But Bice wasn't having it. "If tables had been turned," he said, "and I used something as insensitive like that ... I would be boycotted, people wouldn't buy my albums."

Actually, some people would start buying your albums.

"I started this conversation so that we can have open dialogue about how no one should be called a boy," Bice told FOX News Radio, not really clarifying things. "Maybe they should grow up and use better language. Maybe we should have a culture where we don't have such perverted, divisive language."

Perverted? Divisive? Would the reaction have been so strong if the woman had said, "that white boy who lost to Carrie Underwood?"

"The backlash on social media from speaking out proves my point that we have a major problem with racial prejudice in our country and society," Bice added Wednesday in a Facebook post.

(Tattle second timeout: We have no idea if we're seeing this incident the same way Bice is.)

Popeyes issued a statement apologizing "for any pain or embarrassment that Mr. Bice experienced. The company does not condone the behavior of one of our associates, and we took corrective action as soon as we were made aware of the incident."

The Write stuff

The Writers Guild of America announced its nominees for the best screenplays of the year with selections that largely stuck to awards season regulars. The best original screenplay nominees were: Kenneth Lonergan's script for Manchester by the Sea, Barry Jenkins' Moonlight, Damien Chazelle's La La Land, Taylor Sheridan's Hell or High Water and Jeff Nichols' Loving.

While the WGA Awards can be strong predictors of the Academy Award screenplay nominees, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences has already deemed Loving (inspired by Nancy Buirski's documentary) and Moonlight (based on Tarell Alvini McCraney's play) adapted scripts.

The WGA nominees for best adapted screenplay were: Arrival, penned by Eric Heisserer; Fences, by the late playwright August Wilson; Hidden Figures, by Allison Schroeder and Theodore Melfi; Nocturnal Animals, by Tom Ford and Deadpool, by Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick. The snarky superhero film, easily the most unexpected choice of the bunch, earlier scored two nods for this Sunday's Golden Globes.

Nominees for best documentary screenplay went to Author: The JT LeRoy Story, written by Jeff Feuerzeig; Command and Control, with a telescript by Robert Kenner and Eric Schlosser, from a story by Brian Pearle and Kim Roberts and Alex Gibney's Zero Days.

The WGA will name the winners to its 69th annual awards on Feb. 19 in simultaneous ceremonies in New York and Los Angeles. Television nominations were announced earlier.

TATTBITS

* People.com reports that Peta Murgatroyd and fiancé Maksim Chmerkovskiy of Dancing with the Stars fame welcomed their first child Wednesday.

Shai Aleksander Chmerkovskiy, a boy, was born at 5:34 a.m. in New York City, the new dad announced on Twitter.

"This is, without a doubt, the best thing that has ever happened to us!" the couple said in a statement.

And Maks and Peta both won the Mirror Ball Trophy.

* As part of Matt Lauer Week on Today, Lauer opened his shirt Wednesday and showed off a choker he was wearing.

Said he wore them all the time.

Choker? We thought that's what Savannah Guthrie wanted to do to Katie Couric.

- Daily News wire services

contributed to this report.

gensleh@phillynews.com

215-854-5678 @DNTattle