Today Idol has responding, claiming Kaufman fabricated the story.  Idol explains that they had two groups of three seats, and Ashley was (the hefty) part of a five-person group.  They also said Ashley's seats were "directly in camera shot."

To be honest, although it may be INSENSITIVE, I believe that Idol can put people wherever they choose to.  They're filming a television show, and essentially CASTING an audience, they have the right to tell people where to sit.  Distracting audience members can take away from the heart of the show...  Which is the terrible singing.  But hey, what do I know?