The Fox Network has prevailed in a racism lawsuit that was filed against it, with a judge ruling in favor of the network after 10 former “American Idol” contestants claimed the Fox singing competition disqualified them based on race, reports TheWrap.com.
“According to the plaintiffs, producers of ‘American Idol’ used old criminal records of African American contestants to justify eliminating them from the series, in addition to forcing ‘Idol’ hopefuls to sign ‘unconscionable Willy Wonka contracts,’” the story reports.
But Judge Naomi Buchwald wrote in her decision that the plaintiffs waited too long and that the statute of limitations had expired.
“Here, each plaintiff’s claims run from the date of his disqualification, as the adverse and allegedly discriminatory act of disqualification or elimination from competition is sufficient to put a contestant on notice that he should ‘protect himself by seeking legal advice’ and therefore to trigger the statute of limitations,” Buchwald wrote.
Only one contestant, Chris Golightly of season 9, was allowed to sue, but Buchwald also disallowed his case on different grounds, writing, “While the complaint asserts that defendants disqualified Golightly because he was an African-American man with a criminal record, it offers no facts beyond this bare allegation of racism to show that either Golightly’s race or his criminal record motivated his disqualification.”