The group of former American Idol contests claiming the singing competition was racist, want a minimum of $25 million. All 10 contestants — from six separate seasons– filed a lawsuit accusing producers of being “cruel and inhumane.”
Lawyers for Corey Clark (Season 2), Jacob John Smalley (Season 2), Jaered Andrews (Season 2), Donnie Williams (Season 3), Derrell Brittenum (Season 5), Terrell Brittenum (Season 5), Thomas Daniels (Season 6), Akron Watson (Season 6), Ju’Not Joyner (Season 8), and Chris Golightly (Season 9), say Idol producers sought out Black contestants for inquiries on their criminal pasts. They allegedly used the findings to make them look like “violent criminals, liars and sexual deviants,” before kicking some off the Fox show.
Attorney James Freeman submitted a complaint federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on behalf of the collective at the top of the year. “Among other allegations, we have taken the position that there are continuing violations of the U.S. Constitution and we are asking the commission to investigate,” Freeman told E! News. “As of now it is not a lawsuit; it is just a request to the federal government that they investigate.”
Each allege that their lives and reputations have been tarnished by the racist portrayals, and want similar acts of discrimination barred.