January 25, 2013 11:00 AM by Lisa Princ
American Idol viewers have been watching drama on the set between the judges, but now, the show is facing some drama behind the scenes as well. Just like The Bachelor last year, Idol may be getting slapped with a racial discrimination lawsuit! What happened? You’ve got to read this one!
Following in the footsteps of The Bachelor, in which the franchise was slapped with a racial discrimination lawsuit last year, the hit singing competition, American Idol is now being accused of racial discrimination by a group of past contestants.
According to TMZ, nine former black contestants of American Idol have come together to sue the show, claiming that Idol forced them off the show in an attempt to boost ratings. Nope, we’re not kidding.
NY attorney James H. Freeman is looking to sue Fox and American Idol on behalf of nine former contestants, after he did some digging last season when Jermaine Jones was booted from the show for outstanding warrants. Freeman claims that in his investigation he found that the show publicly disqualified 9 other people in the past 11 seasons, and they were all black contestants. Freeman is now accusing the show of racism, claiming that they are using “cruel and inhumane” tactics, in which black contestants are being humiliated for the sake of boosting ratings.
In his filing, Freeman claims that the show tried to make his clients appear to be “violent criminals, liars and sexual deviants,” when they are not, and that none of them were convicted of the crimes for which they were charged. Freeman continued: “Yet their personal and professional lives remain permanently and severely impaired by [the show's] continuing violations of our nation’s laws.”
The nine former contestants involved include: 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).
When TMZ reached out to Nigel Lythgoe for his thoughts, he was shocked and told them: “We treat everybody the same … no matter the race, religion or sex. I think we’ve always had a fantastic share of talent from contestants both black and white…I don’t think I’ve ever seen racism at the show.” Throughout the show’s past eleven seasons, they have had three black winners. Fox has not yet commented on the claims.
What do you think of this possible lawsuit? Do you feel that the former contestants have a valid complaint? We know you have an opinion and we want to hear it. Comment below to share your thoughts with us.
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Photo Credit: FOX