Well here’s on you may not have seen coming…
America’s favorite singing competition American Idol, is being accused of racism against African-Americans! In fact, NINE former Idol contestants from different seasons have banded together and are are planning to sue!
The nine black contestants (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) appear to have hired NY attorney James H. Freeman for legal representation. Freeman in turn submitted a letter to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, in which he asks for permission to sue Idol and FOX on behalf of his clients.
In his letter, Freeman claims to have noticed something was up after Jermaine Jones was kicked off the show on March 15, 2012. Idol producers claim to have kicked Jones off after learning he had multiple warrants out for his arrest (which he kept secret).
However Freeman claims that for Idol to even ASK a contestant about his or her arrest history is a violation of CA employment law! He argues that since his clients were essentially applying for “employment” with the show, it was ILLEGAL for Idol to question them about their arrest history.
Freeman went on to say that Idol went on to humiliate and perpetuate “destructive stereotypes” of it’s black contestants,” by hiring private investigators to run background (and arrest record) checks on them…and then using that information to expose them on national television.
According to Freeman, the only 9 contestants who have ever been publicly disqualified from the show have all been black. He wrote that American Idol has ”NEVER once publicly disqualified a white or non-black American Idol contestant in the history of the eleven season production.”
The real kicker is that Freeman says that NONE of the 9 who were disqualified were ever convicted of the crimes they were charged with at the time of their disqualification! However, “their personal and professional lives remain permanently and severely impaired by [the show's] continuing violations of our nation’s laws.”
Freeman’s letter to the EEOC is the first step towards a huge lawsuit – and as soon as he gets the green light, he plans to file the docs in court.
Of course, Idol head honcho Nigel Lythgoe says the allegations are “shocking” and ridiculous. Lythgoe explained:
“We treat everybody the same … no matter the race, religion or sex… 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.”
What do YOU think of the allegations though? Sound off below!