Bentley, Logan, and Sydney
Nine former American Idol contestants are planning to sue the show for racial discrimination. New York attorney James H. Freeman submitted a letter to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission asking permission to sue the show on behalf of African American 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).
Freeman states there were nine cases in which Idol publicly disqualified a candidate, and each time the contestant happened to be African American. He alleges the show has been carrying out a “cruel and inhumane” scheme to humiliate African American contestants for ratings. He says it starts when the show conducts background checks that ask whether anyone’s been arrested, which is a violation of California employment law, since the contestants are basically applying for “employment” with Idol.
He adds that in the show’s 11 seasons they never publicly disqualified a white or non-African American contestant. Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe tells TMZ he’s “shocked” by the “ridiculous” allegations, adding, “We treat everybody the same…no matter the race, religion or sex.”