Former ‘American Idol’ Contestants Asking For $25 Million Each In Racism Suit Against Fox

5 comments
July 25, 2013 ‐ By Jazmine Denise Rogers
Source: American Idol

Source: American Idol

Back in January we reported on a developing lawsuit being filed against Fox and American Idol by nine former contestants, who all claim that they were unfairly kicked off of the show because of their race. According to the suit, the nine constants, who are all men of color, are accusing producers of implementing “cruel and inhumane” practices to exploit them for ratings, humiliating them on national television. The suit goes on to claim that producers illegally pulled up their prior arrest records.

Since the initial filing, the number of plaintiffs mentioned in the suit against the popular show has been bumped up from nine to ten. Contestants include:

Corey Clark (Season 2), Jaered Andrews (Season 2), Jacob John Smalley (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).

According to TMZ, each contestant is requesting $25 million in damages, which according to their attorney, James H. Freeman, is a reasonable amount, considering that Idol producers made them out to be “violent criminals, liars and sexual deviants” and that the lives of these young men have been ruined due to the show’s inaccurate portrayals of them. To make matters worse, none of the contestants were ever convicted of any of the charges stemming from the arrests pulled up by the show.

The lawsuit goes on to claim that only Black contestants were probed about their arrest history. In addition to requesting millions of dollars in damages, contestants are also asking that Idol adopt anti-racism regulations so that this doesn’t happen again.

As always, we’ll continue to keep you posted as this story develops.

Did you witness any of these live eliminations? Do you feel there were racial undertones?

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @jazminedenise.

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  • warren2010

    If American Idol has only defamed and criminalized Blacks, for one, and males for two,
    in this way, I believe that in itself proves discrimination, racial and gender. Because out of any auditorium full of contestants, Blacks probably make up less than twenty percent of contestants. So, that leaves 80% of White contestants – and none of these have arrest records, PLEASE?. And being that none of these kicked off Blacks, were ever convicted of any crime, only perhaps allegedly charged, yes they have a case, as they are victims, of discrimination, slander, unfair practices, unequal contest rules, etc, all apparently for ratings effect, by folks who felt it was fine to scandal and ruin Black lives.

  • Lihau

    Do I think there were racial undertones in some of the eliminations on American Idol? Yes. Do I think these contestants deserves $25 million? Absolutely not! None of them were even close to potentially earning $25 million in their lifetime.

  • Kenedy

    Haven’t there been countless of black people that have won this show though? How is he going to prove that?

    • Lihau

      No. Only 3 of 12 winners who won are Black. 1 of 12 is biracial (Jordin Sparks).

  • LaSha

    Ain’t nobody checkin for them…
    But go for the money…these white folks sure are smh :-/