American Idol Accused of Racism by 9 Black Ex-Contestants (UPDATED)

Nine black former American Idol contestants are banding together to sue the show, claiming they were forced off the show as part of a racist plot

Jeez, look at the list of A-1 class whiners on this list! I’d have to go back to my archives, but the contestants on this list who were disqualified had lied to producers.  Actually, I’ll be back with some links.  But in the meantime, here is the full report from TMZ.

Nine black former “American Idol” contestants — from various seasons — are banding together to SUE the show … claiming they were all FORCED off “Idol” as part of a racist (and illegal) plot to boost ratings.

TMZ has obtained a letter, 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 8) and Chris Golightly (Season 9).

In his letter, Freeman claims he noticed something fishy about “Idol” when Jermaine Jones was kicked off on March 15, 2012. 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.

Freeman now alleges that “Idol” has been conducting a “cruel and inhumane” scheme to exploit and humiliate black contestants for ratings.

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.

What’s more … 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.”

According to Freeman, NONE of the contestants who were disqualified from the show based on their criminal backgrounds were convicted of the crimes for which they were charged at the time of their disqualification.

But Freeman adds, “Yet their personal and professional lives remain permanently and severely impaired by [the show’s] continuing violations of our nation’s laws.”

Freeman’s letter is the first step towards a lawsuit — and we’re told as soon as he gets the green light from the EEOC, he plans to file the docs in court.

We spoke to “Idol” honcho Nigel Lythgoe … who tells us he was “shocked” by the “ridiculous” allegations.

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.”

A rep for FOX declined to comment.

FYI — “Idol” has had 3 African American winners in its history — Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino and Jordin Sparks.

Well, we all know Corey Clark’s pathetic story. I guess that lawsuit against MTV went no where. Now he’s trying a different tact to extract money out of his decade-old Idol experience.

Chris Golightly was eliminated from the Top 24 in Season 9 because he was still under a recording contract when he auditioned for Idol–which is against the show’s rules.

Donnie Williams was arrested for a DUI a week before he was scheduled to perform as part of the Season 3 Top 36. George Huff, who went on to sing his way to 5th place in the finals, took his place. By the way, after Donnie cleared up his legal problems, the producers invited him to participate in Season 4’s Hollywood Week. He was eliminated before the live shows.

The Brittenum twins were disqualified after Terrell ended up in jail. Both had outstanding warrants out for their arrest at the time they were arrested. Very similar to Jermaine Jones, who was disqualified last year. Like Donnie, the twins were invited back to Hollywood in a subsequent season after clearing up their legal problems.

Akron Watson was disqualified before the Hollywood Round due to a marijuana arrest. Akron claims producers told him to tell people he was an alternate to protect himself and the show. By the way, there are ALWAYS golden tickets holders who are told “never mind” after producers conduct background checks after auditions.

Jaered Andrews was arrested for assault after he punched a guy in a bar fight. He was celebrating his selection as an American Idol semi-finalist. The man he assaulted subsequently died from his injuries. Jaered was later acquitted. For the record, he did disclose his legal troubles to producers, but they decided to disqualify him after he was charged with assault.

Thomas Danielsarrested for DUI. His record was eventually wiped clean after he complied with his sentence. He was not disqualified, but the question is—did producers leak his record to TMZ to create controversy? But does it matter? There have been plenty of white Idol contestants whose legal troubles have been splashed all over TMZ.

Ju’Not Joyner was not disqualified. He’s just a super sore loser.

Idol will be in trouble if the lawyer can dig up some white contestants who had some of the same issues, but were not disqualified.  We’ll see how this situation pans out.  Joanna Pacitti, a white contestant, was disqualified during season 8 for ties she had to 19 executives. SHE’S more in a position to sue than any of these losers. I have always felt she was treated unfairly.


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  • teekee

    Wow. Corey C., Ju’not J., and Chris G., are the only names that I recognize.

  • Al Kahn

    OMG,,are you freakin kidding me…..there may be some smoke & a fair amount of coincidental stories…but I would find it hard to believe the executive producer Nigel Lythgoe would knowingly be a part of this conspiracy…he’s allot things but a racist…Not Buying It!! 

  • chillj

    Humbug.  I am suspicious of Idol for a lot of flaws, but racism?  Not at all likely, or judges of color would have left and said why.

  • justmefornow

    Ruben, Fantasia, anyone? 
    Lol what a joke!

  • Anny_nanny

    Someone wants money. But it’s strange to scream loud “I’m a loser, you don’t even remember me!” Don’t know why they were kicked out from the show in its time, but I’m glad.

  • aj rabin

    That’s why Joshua L, Jacob Lusk, big Mike,Lakisha Jones,Paris Bennett,Fantasia and the underserved Rueben Studdard all got major pimpage at some points in their idol run?? Sorry to all the 9 outcasts who are crying racusm none of you are that talented anyways. And Junot Joyer wasn’t disqualified as he was a semi finalist in season 8

  • Valentin432

    The Brittenum twins and Corey Clark on the list is just a huge joke, half of the other people I don’t even remember their names.

    Chris Golightly is black?

  • aj rabin

    the Brittenum twins in season 5 were thrown out in Hollywood because they were so damn annoying.

  • Eileen99

    Will Kerry Kolsch be representing them?

  • Stooch

    Well to the Whiner’s from season 2 and 3, if AI is racist then they’re not very good at it.

  • Kirsten

    Just how many times is Corey going to sue the show? He has turned it into a cottage craft.

    Lest anyone forget, the dude was disqualified because he failed to disclose that he had a date to appear in court the same day as a performance show.

    The lawyer is going to have to prove that Idol let people of other races who had open charges compete.

    The twins are never going to go away either are they?

  • raya

    I may accuse Idol of many things, but this one is a stretch.  I don’t expect any less of Corey Clark and I don’t remember most of the names in the TMZ report, though I am disappointed to see Ju’Not’s name as a part of this whole mess.  I remember liking him.  

    FWIW if this whole thing supposedly started with Jermaine’s dismissal, it seems his name isn’t attached to this lawsuit at least.  Unless I’m misreading the whole thing.  Plus you would think the same folks would notice that while Jermaine was removed from the show last year, Joshua was given tons of screentime and favorable attention.  He got lots of love from the producers and etc.  Not to mention DeAndre was given one of the highly coveted wild card spots and while didn’t get nearly the favor that Joshua did, he was treated well enough and was depicted in a favorable light.

  • maymay

    Randy is Black. Nicki is Black. Mariah is half  Black. Only Keith is White. And Randy is the only judge for 12 seasons.

    Anyway, this season could have at least two black contestants in the top 10 after this ridiculous accusation.

  • Eilonwy

    The Brittenum twins were disqualified after Terrell ended up in jail.

    They then came back for S7, were allowed to audition, made it to Hollywood while the producers were trying to decide if they were too old (being just a bit over the limit), and didn’t advance. They celebrated by signing with a label that issued a statement saying they’d declined participation in S7… which they ended up having to retract after being caught in that lie.

    While I think Idol’s TPTB are shameless about exploiting any “human interest” story they get their grubby little hands on — and they’re not, collectively, very forward-thinking or self-aware — I’d be surprised if it were possible to make a legal case for racism.

  • XoLuv2SingOx

    This is honestly ridiculous. First of all, there have been white contestants who were disqualified. Anybody remember Joanna Pacitti?! Also, these people are just trying to get their 5 seconds of fame, since they didn’t get it from Idol. Ju’not wasn’t even disqualified, so I don’t know what he’s trying to prove. Corey Clark has tried countless ways to get his name in the media, and it’s getting ridiculous and desperate. Jaered’s actions resulted in someone’s death…it’s understandable that they disqualified him. And as you stated, Donnie was invited back. There are sooo many black contestants who have made it far. We’ve had three winners (Jordin, Ruben, and Fantasia) and countless finalists (Joshua Ledet, Jacob Lusk, Jennifer Hudson, LaToya London, Melinda Doolittle, LaKisha, etc). These people are just trying to bring Idol down, and it’s not gonna work. 

  • vdawg

    These losers just need to go get real jobs like everybody else.  I think they all want publicity.

  • elliegrll

    I do believe that 19 has been pandering to a portion of their viewers, which has caused the audience to become less diverse, but these guys don’t have a leg to stand on.  Maybe they can get someone to believe that 19 didn’t have the right to ask them about their criminal history, but I doubt that any judge or jury would support the idea that the producers didn’t have the right to do background checks.  Each of these people put themselves in the position of being kicked off the show.  It really didn’t make sense for any of them to try out, when they knew that they had unresolved criminal issues that needed to be addressed.  

    Furthermore, just like everyone else from AI they are responsible for their careers post AI.  Maybe if Corey spent more time trying to make music, and less trying to bring AI down, he’d be more successful.  The twins had no issue about appearing on AI after they had been disqualified.  Ju’Not has also made a career out of trying to tear AI down.  Anytime a blogger or writer wants someone to trash AI, Ju’Not is always there, but he’s done precious little to launch any type of career.  As I recall, he didn’t want to sign the contract, so it was his decision not to be on the show.  

  • ladymctech

    LMAO at this list. Of course, Corey Clark. My husband — not ME, lol — bought that Idol “yearbook” that was published last year. Corey Clark is in there as saying that he doesn’t watch the show as he refuses to add to their ratings. First, he sued over the “association” he had Paula, and now this. Get a job, Corey.

  • dabney c

    Thank you — it’s Joanna Pacitti! I was trying to remember her name after reading the claim that the only people ever publicly disqualified were black. It was a pretty big deal when they let her go, as I recall.

  • JPA5JPA5

    This is ridiculous. Read the list and said who? Knew the first guy cuz of the Paula sex accusations. Don’t believe this. There were black winners and finalists.. This year 75% of judges are black. Dismiss this desperate money grubbing suit.

  • Reflects On Life

    The arguments that Idol didn’t target blacks for their annual disqualification stories because Idol has also showcased black contestants, awarded blacks 1st place, or hired blacks as judges, coaches, and other staffers doesn’t hold water at all.  It’s comparing apples & oranges.  It’s entirely possible to do both.  And if they are solely targetting blacks for their annual disqualification stories, that would indeed be discriminatory.

    The more legitimate apples to apples question is this:  Have non-blacks been disqualified also?  In numbers generally proportionate to their representation in the applicant pool?  (AfAms are ~12% of US population, but I don’t know what percentage of the applicant pool they make up. Possibly higher than 12%, but certainly not 100%.)  And have the disqualifications of non-blacks been aired as publicly?

  • Incipit

    The ambitious nature of these proposed Nuisance Law Suits keeps escalating…along with the OTT language. Destructive Stereotype? Racist Plot? Really? It’s a very selective one. Next, someone will figure out a way to involve Global Warming and Area 51. 

    This ought to have a short shelf life…too easily shot down. Like this “mis-spoken” statement.

    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.”


    Ahem. Joanna Pacitti. Somebody didn’t do their homework.

    Now, with a different set of plaintiffs, as in, people with no rap sheet, or record of trouble w/the law – ‘maybe’ someone will try to make a case for a “pattern of discrimination” – after all – there’s no Hip Hop or Rap performers on Idol. But that extreme language like “Racist Plot” just makes them sound BSC…And so far, I don’t think it’s illegal to discriminate against certain genres in the marketplace. Or next will be Operatic arias, Gregorian Chants, or Tuvan Throat Singers, and other specialized singers/songs Idol has a plot against. IMO.

  • bannanafish

    Ever get one of those letters where you can be part of a class-action lawsuit against a big corporation like Verizon or Barclaycard and the fine print is that the lawyers involved make millions and you get $5. I think this is a case of a lawyer looking to make millions off AI and dangling a carrot in front of these ex-contestants to use their names. They figure they have nothing to lose so they agree. Of course the lawyers interest is in a settlement with Idol and he doesn’t really care about the principles of racial discrimination or that he is making his claimants look like bitter losers.

  • girlygirltoo

    This feels like the lawyer and people involved in the suit are looking for a quick money grab, hoping that Idol wills settle out of court rather than deal with a court case. 

    There have been 3 African-American winners (if include Jordin) and others have finished in the Top 5. So unless the lawyer has examples of non-African American contestants who had similar legal issues who were not disqualified? Doesn’t seem like this lawsuit has much validity.

  • Leandro

    I DON’T DO GROUPS…only when I need to sue someone.

  • elliegrll

    The arguments that Idol didn’t target blacks for their annual disqualification stories because Idol has also showcased black contestants, awarded blacks 1st place, or hired blacks as judges, coaches, and other staffers doesn’t hold water at all.

    This is true.  I think the lawsuit is garbage, but saying that it doesn’t have merit, because there have been black people who have won or because there are black judges is akin to saying that someone can’t be a racist, because they have a friend who is black.

    I think that Jermaine, who isn’t even a part of the lawsuit, is the only one who could provide some circumstantial evidence that his troubles were used as part of a plan to get the show buzz and media attention.  Even then, he’s the one who decided to take part in the show, even though he was facing a lot of legal woes.

  • raya

    MJ brings up a good point.  Like the one guy on this list who got a golden ticket to Hollywood and then was disqualified prior to Hollywood week even starting, there are probably plenty of Idol hopefuls that wind up in the same situation after background checks.  Difference is we mostly never hear of these people since we don’t know them as yet.  I don’t know that there would be public records of those sorts of things, but it should be pretty easy to prove that it’s happened before and not only to members of one race.

  • Ronnie D

    I’m not up to date on California Employment laws, but I know here in NY you ARE suppose to report felonies when applying for work. I don’t know if any of these were felonies though. I think it is funny that these people are blaming Idol for making them look bad. Well, they committed these crimes before Idol, so I think they are responsible for humiliating themselves.

  • Amy Beth

    They’re going to lose this suit. However, the way to win it would have been to prove that AI had similar dirt on white contestants, but did not DQ them. Otherwise, they got nothing.

  • fantoo1

    How stupid.

  • Bug Menot

    The attorney’s website says:

    Representative Matters include:

    • Successfully obtained dismissal of wrongful death lawsuit against
    famous rap artist for death of concertgoer due to criminal act of a
    third party.

    • Successfully vacated default judgment against grammy
    award-winning artist in connection with alleged failure to appear at
    concert performance.

    • Successfully represented model / television personality in contract dispute with her modeling and talent agency.

    • Successfuly represented nightclub owner in partnership and
    trademark dispute against former partners who had unlawfully terminated

    • Successfully defended professional, top-ranking athlete in lawsuit against former business manager.

    • Successfully obtained dismissal of lawsuit against world-famous rap artist on grounds of an agreement to arbitrate.


    His LinkedIn profile gives names:

    James H. Freeman is a Civil Litigator with over ten (10) years of “big
    firm” experience in the New York legal industry and two (2) years
    rocking his own cases and generating winning results for his clients,
    who include:

    – Grammy-award winning R&B star Ne-Yo
    – Southern rapper Gucci Mane
    – Hip-Hop artist David Banner
    – Compound Entertainment, Inc. (ATL)
    – Emmy-award winning animator Ray Downing
    – American Idol top finalist Corey Clark

    James’ solo practice – launched in January 2011 – focuses on resolving
    complex disputes in the entertainment business, particularly music and
    digital media, and gives 110% to protecting the civil, economic and
    constitutional rights of artists, musicians, songwriters and performers.

  • Montavilla

    I’m reminded of an exchange between Andy Cohen and Adam Lambert.

    Andy (paraphrased):  What was it like being on American Idol.  Don’t you think the show is a little homophobic?

    Adam:  I think our country is a little homophobic.

    Just like our country is a little homophobic, it’s a little (or a lot) racist.  American Idol is simply reflecting that in the mosaic of human interest stories they cull from their contestants.

    I’m sure that more African-American hopefuls were disqualified from Idol for legal troubles than white ones.  That’s because the justice system is inherently biased against young men of color.  I realize that’s a sweeping statement, but there have been a number of studies that support it.  

    It’s harder for young black men to deal with criminal warrants and court appearances because they have reason to fear that they won’t be treated fairly. I’m not going to excuse Jeremiah Jones for not disclosing his warrants, but I do understand why he was scared to.  Young people often make bad decisions.

    I think the AI producers go beyond anything they’d be expected to do by allowing contestants to return (like the Donnie Williams and the Brittenum twins) once they’ve cleared up their records.  I almost wish they would make that more evident, since it signals to young people that a brush with the law isn’t the end of your chances to make a good life for yourself.

  • Christopher Auyeung

    The stench of bull is threatening to make me vomit.

  • ceecee21

    Let’s not forget Justin Guarini….he’s half black and he was runnerup in season 1.

  • julesb2183

    Most of the time, Idol dq’s people quietly. Chris Golightly was dq’d and replaced by Tim Urban and Idol never talked about it. Someone may report it, but idol usually never says a word on the show. Jermaine and Corey are exceptions. Most of these are understandable disqualifications, and are just a few examples of many.

  • kmd23

    This is a lame lawsuit. Corey Clark is a joke. Hispanics really have a right to complain as there has never been an Hispanic Spanish speaking AI  winner.  Archie was the closest that AI ever came to having an Hispanic winner but he did not win.

  • Ronnie D

     “It’s harder for young black men to deal with criminal warrants and court
    appearances because they have reason to fear that they won’t be treated

    They are still breaking the law. As long as people still want to pull the race card, none of us will get anywhere.

  • julesb2183

    Also, how many contestants that are on the Green Mile episode who are told they aren’t going through to the voting rounds (without explaination) are not chosen because of their backround check? Probably a couple each year.

  • Jaejae1

    Junot was sent home the season they sent a lot of people whom they should have kept around. He sang Hey There Delilah. I remember because he was pretty good and that was a cool song choice. Bit the rest of these guys are total losers.

  • Emmuzka

    This Freeman sounds like a total leach. He tells himself that the whole suit is his own idea, so he probably brewed the whole thing up and then got the actual complaints to join by promising them money and possibly fame. 

    Freeman knows what he’s doing. Never mind that the case probably has about a snowball’s chances in hell, why do you think the thing got out now, when the new season is starting? He practices predatory suing, probably in the hopes that Idol will pay for the whole thing to go away. It’s the worst kind of abuse of the justice system. 

  • fantoo1

    Technically Scotty is. He’s a quarter puerto rican :)

  • IrisandLilies

    If I remember correctly from my class in employment discrimination law in law school over twenty years ago, the way this lawsuit would play out is as follows.  First, the plaintiffs would use statistics to show that the race to which they belong is being discriminated against.  (Note:  This assumes that there is no actual evidence of discrimination, such as, for example, a handwritten note or comment containing a discriminatory comment.)  In this instance the focus would be on the percentage of African American AI contestants with a basis for disqualification who were actually disqualified versus the percentage of white/Hispanic/Asian/Native American AI contestants with a basis for disqualification who were actually disqualified.  (I don’t remember, however, if the percentages are calculated separately for each race or whether they can be aggregated together.) 

    The plaintiffs’ statistical evidence, however, can be rebutted by evidence that the producers had another reason besides race for disqualifying the contestant, such as, for example, the nature of the disqualification makes for a good story line.  Also evidence about the treatment of African Americans in other areas of the show would be relevant to whether the proffered non-discriminatory reason for the disqualification is believable.  Things to look at would be the percentage of African Americans in the overall pool of contestants vs. the percentage of African Americans in the pool of contestants who make it to the Hollywood rounds vs. the percentage of African Americans who make it to the top 24 contestants.   If the percentage remains fairly consistent from round to round over each season, then it would help to support AI’s claim that they were not discriminating against African-Americans when it came to disqualification.   

    Except for the wild card contestants, who are chosen by the judges, anything after the selection of the top 24 contestants is irrelevant because the decision-making is in the hands of the audience, not the producers.  If African-Americans are underrepresented in the top 12/13 finalists, that is due to the decisions of the AI audience, not the producers.   The racial make up of the judges at the time the contestants who are suing AI competed probably would be relevant.  However, it is unlikely that AI could bring up the racial make-up of the judges this season because it is after the alleged events that are the subject of the lawsuit. 

  • anonoymous

    Well said!

  • anonoymous

    Well said!

  • Christopher Auyeung

    Also, Asians.

  • Montavilla

     “It’s harder for young black men to deal with criminal warrants and court appearances because they have reason to fear that they won’t be treatedfairly.”They are still breaking the law. As long as people still want to pull the race card, none of us will get anywhere.

    Perhaps.  Not everyone who gets arrested is guilty of a crime.  What’s why we have trials.  I don’t think it’s pulling the race card to point out systemic biases.  We won’t move forward by pretending that they don’t exist.

    Pulling the race card is appropriate when it fits.  I don’t, however, think it will prove appropriate in this particular lawsuit.

  • steph6449

    Eesh. The show has had any number of leading black and other minority finalists and semifinalists who received very favorable public treatment, and won or placed highly. Some have returned to AI after their season to perform, multiple times.  

    Not to mention the show has had any number of black guest performers and mentors, has had a black judge its entire history, and has three minority-background judges this season. Or four if you count Australians ;)

    I can believe the show may have stretched its policies for a particular contestant that they really liked. But I don’t think there is anything off when they choose not to continue people in the competition whose background checks turn up things that are inconsistent with the show’s standards.

  • Cindy

    lol sounds like a bunch of people trying to take the easy way out to get ‘fame’. 

  • Kariann Hart

    I would hope Idol fights this lawsuit rather than cave in.

  • kmd23

    Scotty does not speak or know any Spanish. He has stated that repeatedly in interviews. Archie is fluent in Spanish and while he is on his mission in Chile I believe he mostly just speaks Spanish. I know Scotty is a quarter puerto rican but for some reason I just don’t consider him a Spanish speaking Latino music artist. lol.

  • durbesque

    Scotty’s Latin quarter is in a place that doesn’t show in public.

    Archie’s Latin half is gloriously on display at all times.

  • Goodvibes27

    I remember watching the Lifetime movie about Fantasia (The one she starred in) and there was an odd scene where during the Idol competition, she was paid a visit by the Idol producers (strongly) suggesting she drop out of the competition. If this was true and really happened, that would to me be a racist move. Any of these other clowns don’t have a leg to stand on IMO.

  • chloe18

    I’m not saying this lawsuit has merit but I don’t think it’s unfair to question why we only hear of men and women of color being disqualified from the show with one exception.  Honestly while reading through this all I was thinking was they have a point.  Everyone I remember being kicked off was someone of color (Frenchie, Cory, the twins, the guy who they aired getting kicked off recently.  Also Scott Savol who is white committed the same crime Cory did, abusing a woman and he was allowed to participate on the show.  According to wiki he told idol about it but at the end of the day it’s still the same crime.  

  • chloe18

    Arrested for or accused of does not necessarily equal committed.  My eyes got opened wide last year when members of the NYPD admitted to planting drugs on people to meet arrest quotas.  This is especially problematic when you couple it with stop and frisk where they can essentially search anyone who looks ~suspicious.

  • Latin2

    1. Corey Clark is HALF Black, just like Justian Gaurani who btw came in 2nd place on the 1st Idol

    2. The show doesn’t pick the winners of the show, the public does. So it is not the show that is racist, it is just that the viewers pick who they want.

    3. Latinos make up the LARGEST minority group in the US and we are not complaining or suing. There has never been a Latino Idol winner…well if you count Scotty being 1/4 Puerto Rican. ;)

  • Latin2

    1. Corey Clark is HALF Black, just like Justian Gaurani who btw came in 2nd place on the 1st Idol

    2. The show doesn’t pick the winners of the show, the public does. So it is not the show that is racist, it is just that the viewers pick who they want.

    3. Latinos make up the LARGEST minority group in the US and we are not complaining or suing. There has never been a Latino Idol winner…well if you count Scotty being 1/4 Puerto Rican. ;)

  • Abner4President

    Idol denied that ever happening and, IIRC, no such thing was ever described in Fantasia’s book.

  • Abner4President

    Well, besides the fact that you seem to want to ignore that the lack of honesty was indeed part of the issue (and a valid one, IMO), Corey had a pending court date while Scott did not.

    I agree Frenchie has a valid complaint about her disqualification, but considering the only other front-runner that season, according to the show, up to the point of her disqualification was Ruben Studdard, I don’t think their mishandling of the situation had anything to do with her race and she’s not a part of this suit anyway.

  • Abner4President

    But the only ones whose disqualifications have been made a point of on the show are those who advanced far enough for it to require an on-air explanation (the semifinals or later), and even then they *usually* gloss over the issue as quickly as possible, especially if the decision to disqualify occurs during that inactive period between the Hollywood rounds and the semifinals. They’ve only “confronted” people who are around to *be* confronted on camera, i.e., at the studio prepping for a live/live-to-tape round, and so far in the show’s history, the only people to have fallen into that category happened to be black. Unless you or someone else can provide an example of a non-black contestant being disqualified at the same point of the competition, I don’t see how you can argue that it’s more than an unfortunate coincidence.

  • Li Wright

    I suspect we will soon see a lot of talk show appearances and maybe those guys will sing on the talk shows….betcha!

  • Natalie Blake

    Gee, how did I know before reading this that Corey and the Brittenum twins would be on the suing list. Losers, all.

  • Miz

    This lawyer is an ambulance chaser and his over the top wording of this petition to file (‘racist plot’??? ‘cruel and inhumane scheme’???) is completely frivolous.

    The only thing possibly of merit in his petition to the EEOC is the ‘Have you ever been arrested?’ question on the paperwork to compete on the show. They can ask ‘Have you ever been convicted of a crime?’ That is ONLY if it is first ruled that applying to participate in a talent show is indeed applying for a job. However, that question is asked of ALL contestants regardless of race. It doesn’t pass the stink test.

     If he were filing a class action lawsuit based on that question, he’d have millions of parties to it IF THIS IS A JOB APPLICATION. Of course that would diminish the amount of any settlement awarded.

    There is a flipside to this. An employer can be found liable for ‘negligent hiring’ if they failed to do a background check if there is subsequent harm done by that employee. An employer has to practice due diligence in checking criminal records. 

    American Idol would be in for a world of hurt if they allowed a person with a known history of violence, sexual predators, or pedophiles on the show and something bad happened.

    Serious question: Has any person who has appeared on American Idol filed for and received Unemployment Insurance benefits after their time on the show or tour?

  • Ria

    “Idol will be in trouble if the lawyer can dig up some white contestants who had some of the same issues, but were not disqualified.  ”
    They need some examples of others with similar or worse issues and who were treated different.  How they treated Jermaine Jones was terrible.  But maybe they overplayed that because they were already at the voting rounds and fans would have been itate if he just left the show with no explanation.

  • N

    I’m would think the contestants are not considered employees.  At least not before the live shows and tour.  They are definitely working for Idol during the tour and are getting paid for their work at that point.  Maybe the kids on tour get unemployment after the tour if they aren’t given recording contracts.  It’s an interesting question.  

  • steph6449

    I would think it should be clear in the various AI contracts that have become public. Are they ’employees,’ independent contractors, contest participants, or something else?  

    The tour phase seems more like regular employment, but I’d guess they are independent contractors, or you could even view that as part of the “prize” for being a top 10 finalist.