Former Voice Contestant Ryan Gallagher Denies Breaking Show's COVID-19 Protocols, NBC Issues Response

Ryan Gallagher was removed from the competition prior to last Monday's episode

Ryan Gallagher, a former contestant on the current season of The Voice, has disputed that he violated the show's coronavirus protocols.

“Last Sunday my client Ryan Gallagher, who was a leading contender as part of Kelly Clarkson’s team on the current season of NBC-TV’s The Voice, was dismissed by NBC and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios for an alleged violation of the show’s Covid 19 protocol," Michael Catalano, the singer’s personal manager, tells PEOPLE exclusively in a statement.

Catalano adds, "In my opinion, nothing could be further from the truth."

In response to Catalano and Gallagher's claims, NBC and MGM shared a statement to PEOPLE. "Ryan is a talented artist, however The Voice has strict Covid protocols in place to secure a safe set for our crew, coaches and contestants. We were made aware of a breach in those protocols, and after examining the situation, and out of abundance of caution, we determined that Ryan could not participate in our Monday night show without potentially putting others at risk. Therefore, we made the difficult decision to remove Ryan from the competition," NBC and MGM said.

Ryan Gallager
Ryan Gallagher. Tyler Golden/NBC

However, in his statement to PEOPLE, Catalano also says Gallagher, 32, "understands all too well how serious the Covid 19 pandemic is in this country and around the world," adding, “In fact, recently Ryan's mother in Michigan was hospitalized with Covid 19 and was in ICU for three weeks. It was a scary time for Ryan and his family and he certainly would not knowingly put anyone at risk by not adhering to the show’s Covid 19 policy."

"As you can imagine there is more to the story here than the show has announced and at an appropriate time and place of our choosing Ryan will respond to these damaging allegations,” the singer’s manager adds. "Ryan, whose performing career began at age fifteen as a backup singer for Josh Groban in Michigan, has been devastated by the show’s dismissal. A career as a singer/performer has been his life-long dream."

Continuing, Catalano says, "Ryan is so touched by the massive outpouring of support he has received from thousands of viewers who were hugely disappointed by the show’s actions and are vowing to support him in his future endeavors. He remains very, very appreciative. Thank you for your continued support of Ryan Gallagher during this difficult time.”

Before his removal from the show, Gallagher told the celebrity coaches that his mother had been hospitalized with COVID-19, but the Michigan native told fans on his Instagram Story Monday night that a family emergency was not the reason he didn't appear on The Voice that evening.

"Thank you everybody for your concern for my family. However, everybody's fine. That's not the cause of what happened tonight on The Voice," he said. "I didn't drop out of the show. Details are still to come. I'll keep you posted."

In a subsequent post shared on Friday, Gallagher wrote, "It’s been a weird/stressful week. I am grateful to each and every one of you for your continued support and love throughout this new development. Standby for more facts!"

On Monday's episode, host Carson Daly told viewers that the contestant "had to exit the competition," but did not provide any additional details, according to Michigan Live.

In a previous Instagram video shared on Nov. 16, Gallagher said that he had recently traveled back home to Michigan from Los Angeles to visit his family.

As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from the WHO and local public health departments. PEOPLE has partnered with GoFundMe to raise money for the COVID-19 Relief Fund, a fundraiser to support everything from frontline responders to families in need, as well as organizations helping communities. For more information or to donate, click here.

Updated by
Maria Pasquini

Associate Editor, Human Interest - PEOPLE

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