Black Contestants Suing American Idol Looking for 25 Million Each

Remember that potential lawsuit from 9 former American Idol contestants who claimed they were victims of racism? TMZ is reporting that it has finally been filed and the plaintiffs want 25 million dollars each.

Ten black former “American Idol” contestants from various seasons have filed a lawsuit against the show, claiming they were unjustly booted because of their race … and they EACH want $25 million … minimum.

We broke the story … the contestants have accused producers of conducting a “cruel and inhumane” scheme to exploit them for ratings by illegally digging up their arrest histories and using the records to humiliate them on national TV.

The contestants — Corey Clark (Season 2), Jaered Andrews (Season 2), Jacob John Smalley (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).

The contestants’ lawyer claims the show used the arrest info to make his clients appear to be “violent criminals, liars and sexual deviants” … when they weren’t. In fact, none had ever even been convicted of the charges stemming from their arrests.

Worse, the lawyer claims ONLY black people were ever probed about their alleged criminal pasts … never white people.

Not only do the contestants feel they got the shaft, they claim their lives have been ruined by the show’s racist portrayals.

The 10 are suing for discrimination and other alleged misdeeds. They also want Idol to adopt new anti-racism regulations.

Reps for FOX and FremantleMedia had no comment.

Jacob John Smalley from season 2–whoever he is–has been added to the list of plaintiffs since we first reported the story in January. Honestly, this is the dumbest case ever.  It’s written in the contestant’s contracts that producers are free to use whatever dirt they dig up on a contestant however they want. Also, producers are free to edit a storyline to fit their agenda, whatever that may be.  If  the resulting portrait casts a hopeful in a negative light? Sucks to be you! Idol producers have always been equal opportunity villainizers. So, good luck boys, proving some sort of racist agenda.  Contestants basically sign away their reputations to the show. Really, a bunch of sore losers looking for a payday, this case is.

Here’s my original summary of the plaintiffs in the case:

Well, we all know Corey Clark’s pathetic story. I guess that lawsuit against MTV went nowhere. 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.

About mj santilli 33483 Articles
Founder and editor of, home of the awesomest fan community on the net. I love cheesy singing shows of all kinds, whether reality or scripted. I adore American Idol, but also love The Voice, Glee, X Factor and more!