“American Idol” is being sued by 10 former contestants who believe they were kicked off the show because they’re black, reports TMZ. According to the contestants’ lawyer, James H. Freeman, “American Idol” used their history to make them look like “violent criminals, liars and sexual deviants.”

His clients are Corey Clark (Season 2) kicked off because he was previously arrested and charged with misdemeanor battery; Jaered Andrews (Season 2) cut for an assault charge after a bar fight; Jacob John Smalley (Season 2) eliminated early in the season; Donnie Williams (Season 3) dismissed after an arrest for speeding and drunk driving during filming; Terrell Brittenum and Derrell Brittenum (Season 5) dismissed because of identity theft charges; Thomas Daniels (Season 6) cut for prior drunk driving charges; Akron Watson (Season 6) let go for charges of possession of marijuana, which producers were previously aware of he says; Ju’Not Joyner (Season 8) dismissed because he says he questioned the contract; and Chris Golightly (Season 9) reportedly cut because of a former recording contract.

Attorney Freeman points out that not one of the 10 contestants were ever convicted of charges stemming from their arrests, and only black contestants were asked about their past, not whites.

He also argues that it’s illegal for producers to ask contestants if they’ve been arrested. Since his clients were applying for employment with “American Idol,” he says the ask about their arrest history is illegal and a violation of the California employment law.

Each contestant is asking “American Idol,” to embrace new anti-racism regulations and is suing them for discrimination for $25 million each at the minimum. Fox has yet to comment on the lawsuit.


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  • Karyn

    Oh! Wow. *sits in corner with tea*

    • BHO

      Lol, here we go again……..

  • MimiLuvs

    Here’s the thing about American Idol.
    The producers of the show (as well as the record label’s big-wigs) want a modern-day Doris Day and Frankie Avalon. They want the winners to be almost like today’s Disney stars: squeaky clean and can sing on-key… Which is why Carrie Underwood and Clay Aiken was able to be so successful, until he came out of the closet.
    They also want these aspiring singers to be obedient and non-threatening to the establishment as well.

    • topworld7

      ..i just love u Mimi..!

  • Shirl

    Did I read that correctly? It is illegal and a violation of employment law in California for a potential employer to inquire about a potential employee’s criminal history? If so that’s wild and a little scary.

    • K

      not criminal history ARREST history.. if their stories are true (which is that none of them were convicted) that means that none of the criminal arrests would have show up in a criminal history search which im assuming is why idol as them for ARREST history. It is in fact illegal in california to ask for arrest history of potential employees that lead no conviction which is what the attorney is arguing. again i dont know if its true that in fact none of these mens arrest led to conviction. Hope that helps clear that up.

    • Shirl

      Thanks K… I was a little confused.