Nine black former “American Idol” contestants from various seasons have ganged up too sue the TV talent contest. They claim the show is racist and they claim they were booted off the show in their respective seasons as part of a plot to boost ratings. And it’s all linked back to Jermaine Jones getting kicked off the show. I knew we’d hear his name again someday.
A letter has been submitted to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by NY attorney James H. Freeman in which he asks for permission to sue Idol and FOX on behalf of his clients, who have all appeared on the show:
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 and Chris Golightly (Season 9).
In his letter, Freeman says his suspicions were first aroused about “American Idol” when Jermaine Jones was kicked off on March 15, 2012. You’ll remember Jones’ exit was prompted when producers said he failed to inform them about multiple outstanding warrants for his arrest.
Freeman claims he dug a little deeper and discovered that producers had only publicly disqualified nine. other people from the show since it first hit the air. All of them were black.
Freeman now alleges that “Idol” has been conducting a “cruel and inhumane” scheme to exploit and humiliate black contestants for ratings. However, as a comparison, he fails to let us know whether there have been white contestants with outstanding warrants to their name who were not disqualified from the show. Just sayin’…
Freeman thinks the racism is systematic and each year producers ask potential contestants, “Have you ever been arrested?”
He claims you can’t ask this because it violates CA employment law, and since his clients were essentially applying for “employment” with Idol, the show should not ask contestants about their arrest history.
He also claims that there are private investigators working for Idol, finding out this information. He says the information is then used to humiliate the black “Idol” contestants on national TV and in so doing perpetuates “destructive stereotypes” about black people.
Freeman also claims the show made his clients appear to be “violent criminals, liars and sexual deviants” when they weren’t.
Furthermore, Freeman claims the show has “never once publicly disqualified a white or non-black American Idol contestant in the history of the eleven season production.” I admit I can only really remember Jermaine Jones being booted off the show. But where are the white contestants with outstanding arrest warrants? Can Freeman tell us of any?
According to Freeman, none of these contestants disqualified from the show based on their criminal backgrounds went on to be convicted of the crimes for which they were charged at the time of their disqualification.
“Yet their personal and professional lives remain permanently and severely impaired by [the show's] continuing violations of our nation’s laws.”
If Freeman’s letter gets past the EEOC, he plans to file a law suit.
Nigel Lythgoe, exec producer of “American Idol” is said to be “shocked” by the “ridiculous” racism allegations.
“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.”
FOX has so far declined to comment.
So how does this work again? Oh, booting out African Americans boosts the show’s ratings even though other reality TV shows like “The Bachelor” have been criticized for not having enough black contestants; African American Randy Jackson has been a judge on the show (some would say head judge but then Nicki Minaj would get upset and throw shades – and “American Idol” has had three African American winners in its twelve year history: Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino and Jordin Sparks. Is anyone seeing this racism?
Below is a gallery of the nine contestants planning to sue “American Idol” for racism. Remember them?