“American Idol” is most famously known for their discovery of previously unknown amazing singers. Most recently “American Idol” has been in the news for their controversy between the two judges Mariah Carey and Nicki Minaj. However, now according to TMZ on Friday, Jan. 25 there are several black male contestants that are claiming “American Idol” and Fox are racist.
TMZ received a letter that was submitted to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by attorney James H. Freeman. The letter includes information from nine former black male contestants who have banded together to sue “American Idol” and FOX. Before the lawsuit can be filed their attorney, James H. Freeman, has to get the approval of the EEOC.
The contestants are all from various seasons of “American Idol,” however, they all have one thing in common and that is that they were being exploited because of their race. They all claim they were eventually kicked off “American Idol” as the black male who would help boost their ratings.
Their attorney became suspicious of “American Idol” during the season when Jermaine Jones was kicked off the show. Producers had claimed Jones failed to inform them about multiple outstanding warrants out for his arrest.
Freeman claims he conducted an investigation into the show -- and found that producers had only publicly disqualified 9 other people from the show since it first hit the air ... and they all happened to be black.
It's important to note that of the nine contestants who are seeking to move forward with this lawsuit, Jermaine Jones was not named.
Freeman also alleges that “American Idol” seeks to humiliate black contestants to improve their ratings. Additionally, Freeman thinks that “American Idol” conducted inappropriate criminal background checks which are not legal in the state of California.
According to the letter, Freeman believes the annual "scheme" begins during the background check stage of the show -- when producers ask wannabe contestants the question -- "Have you ever been arrested?"
Freeman claims the question is a violation of CA employment law ... and since his clients were essentially applying for "employment" with Idol, the show was FORBIDDEN from asking contestants about their arrest history. But Freeman claims ... the ill-gotten information from the question, coupled with arrest records obtained by private investigators working for Idol, were used to humiliate the black Idol contestants on national TV ... and in the process, perpetuated "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.
Freeman insists that there were never any other non-black “American Idol” contestants singled out and kicked off the show. According to his records the contestants forced out were all black.
Corey Clark (Season 2)
Jaered Andrews (Season 2)
Donnie Williams (Season 3)
Terrell Brittenum and Derrell Brittenum (Season 5)
Thomas Daniels (Season 6)
Akron Watson (Season 6)
Ju'Not Joyner (Season 8)
Chris Golightly (Season 9)
Executive producer Nigel Lythgoe spoke out against these allegations and claims there is no truth to them.
He explained, "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."
“American Idol” has had three African American winners which were Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino and Jordin Sparks. In additional to these three Jennifer Hudson was a contestant in “American Idol” who has become a very successful entertainer.
What do you think about these claims against “American Idol?”
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