Pictured: (l-r) Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine in "The Voice"...

Pictured: (l-r) Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine in "The Voice" Episode 102. Airdate: May 3, 2011. Credit: NBC/Lewis Jacobs

Maroon 5 front man Adam Levine, a coach on the NBC singing competition "The Voice," harshly criticized "American Idol" in an interview Monday, saying that the long-established show wrongly encourages gay performers to deny their orientation.

"What's always ---- me off about 'Idol' is wanting to mask that, for that to go unspoken," Levine, 32, told Out magazine. "C'mon. You can't be publicly gay? At this point? On a singing competition? Give me a break. You can't hide basic components of these people's lives."

Reps for "Idol" did not immediately comment about Levine's remarks.

Levine also addressed rumors of his own sexuality, saying, "There's no way to hide my straightness, but if people didn't think there was a small chance I was gay, then I wouldn't be doing my job very well. Look at the best ones, guys whose sexuality was always questioned. [David] Bowie. [Mick] Jagger. Freddie Mercury. I wouldn't be the front man of a band if that question hadn't come up at some point."

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