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American Idol Facing Lawsuit For Racism By Black Ex-Contestants

Jan 25, 2013 | 12:34 PM    Written By: Michael Hughes
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American Idol Facing Lawsuit For Racism By Black Ex-Contestants

Throughout the eleven seasons that American Idol has aired on TV, 9 black contestants have been kicked off 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 8) and Chris Golightly (Season 9), all got the boot via disqualification due to their past history containing run-ins with the law.  

A letter was submitted to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by the New York attorney James H. Freeman, in which he has requested permission to sue both American Idol and the FOX TV network on behalf of alleged racist treatment that his clients were subjected to while on the show.  For this particular case it is required that Mr. Freeman file his complaints and lawsuit with the EEOC prior to actually filing suit against Idol and Fox.  TMZ obtained the letter and reported that Mr. Freeman conducted an investigation on the show after contestant Jermaine Jones was kicked off on March 15th, 2012, after the producers alleged that he neglected to inform them of multiple outstanding warrants for his arrest.

After engaging in his investigation, Freeman discovered that 9 other contestants had been suddenly disqualified from the competition, all of which happened to be black.  He also noted that not one single white or non-black contestant has been abruptly kicked off the show since it first aired.  Apparently Freeman feels as though the Idol producers have been conducting "Cruel and inhumane schemes" during the background checks prior to the shows filming when they ask "Have you ever been arrested?"

Freeman claims that the question is a violation of CA employment law, and that actively participating on American Idol is basically the contestants attempting to become employed.  He stated in the letter that the show "NEVER once publicly disqualified a white or non-black American Idol contestant in the history of the eleven season production."

In Idol's defense, they've had 3 black contestants go on the win the entire show and get record deals - Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, and Jordin Sparks.  With that said, it may be difficult for Freeman and his clients to find a victory in this case.

Source: tmz.com

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