Lawsuit in the Works Against ‘American Idol’ Accuses Show of Racism — Attorney Outlines How the Alleged ‘Scheme’ Has Operated

Jan 25, 2013  •  Post A Comment

Nine former contestants on "American Idol" are preparing a lawsuit against the show, claiming they were bumped off as part of a racist and illegal plot to improve ratings, reports TMZ.com.

The contestants, who are black, are from different seasons of the Fox singing competition. An attorney for the group, James H. Freeman, has written to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to ask for permission to sue the show and Fox, the story says.

Freeman wrote that he investigated the show and found that producers had publicly disqualified 10 people from the show — all of them black.

He believes the "scheme" started with a background check, when contestants are asked whether they’ve ever been arrested, which Freeman contends is in violation of California employment law. He asserts that his clients were in essence applying for employment with the program, and that would ban the program from asking about arrest histories, the piece says.

The information about arrest records was allegedly used to humiliate the black contestants and perpetuate "destructive stereotypes," Freeman contends. He also alleges that the show has never publicly disqualified a white or non-black "Idol" contestant.

"Idol" executive producer Nigel Lythgoe said the allegations were "ridiculous" and added, "We treat everybody the same … no matter the race, religion or sex."

The contestants are: Corey Clark (Season 2), Jaered Andrews (Season 2), Donnie Williams (Season 3), Terrell Brittenum (Season 5), Derrell Brittenum (Season 5), Thomas Daniels (Season 6), Akron Watson (Season 6), Ju’Not Joyner (Season 8) and Chris Golightly (Season 9).


  1. I’d like to join that lawsuit as an Idol disqualified white male. It had nothing to do with not being able to sing worth a damn.

  2. I fail to see the problem if someone has been arrested in their past wants to try out & compete on a show like IDOL. I remember people getting tossed during the season because they’d been busted for something and thinking that it was completely unfair. The competition should be about their singing voices, not if we think they’re a sleazeball.

  3. Will Nicki Minaj be disqualified because she is obviously being paid by The VOICE to trash American Idol?

  4. Idol is already trash. Minaj is making it a trainwreck.

  5. Does anyone really see what’s going on here?????? Marketing for the show, since the ratings are low! Wake up fools!!!! You are taking the bait! The name of the game is to make as much drama as possible to get people watch or write in diaries that they watched it. Can anyone say the word “sucker!??” Not being mean, but people, get your mind working beyond 2nd grade. It’s more than clear on what they are doing. From Mariah and Nikki bitch fests, to lawsuits. It’s to keep the free marketing going. So far it’s working, due to the American mind not being sophisticated. We saw the same things before, yet most US TV viewers have not woken up yet. That’s sad!

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