Nine former Black contestants have band together to file suit against the popular singing-comeption show, claiming they were forced off to boost ratings.
The group, which is being known as the “Idol 9,” includes contestants from seasons 2-9: 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).
According to TMZ, attorney James H. Freeman is suing Idol and FOX on behalf of his clients. In a letter he submitted to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, he claims that American Idol producers have only publicly disqualified Black contestants in a “cruel and inhumane scheme to exploit and humiliate black contestants for ratings.”
His suspicions began after Jermaine Jones was kicked off on March 15, 2012 for failing to tell producers about multiple outstanding warrants out for his arrest.
Freeman says the scheme starts when producers ask contestants if they have ever been arrested. He goes on to outline how Idol uses private investigators to find out arrest history for Black contestants to humiliate and perpetuated “destructive stereotypes” about black people on the show.
He wrote, the show has “never once publicly disqualified a white or non-black American Idol contestant in the history of the eleven season production.”
American Idol has had three black winners, including Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino and Jordin Sparks. Jennifer Hudson has gone on the be very successful and the current panel of judges include Nicki Minaj, Mariah Caery and Randy Jackson.