Posted in: TV

‘American Idol’ Alleged Racism: Nine Ex-Contestants To File Lawsuit

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Is American Idol racist?

American Idol is being accused of racism in its contestant screening process, and a lawsuit against the show is imminent.

Nine African-American ex-contestants claim the show illegally discriminated against them.

Their lawyer, James Freeman, has petitioned the US Equal Opportunity Commission for permission to sue the show and the Fox Network, a preliminary step that is required by federal law.

International Business Times summarizes the racism allegations against American Idol:

“Corey Clark, Jaered Andrews, Donnie Williams, brothers Terrell Brittenum and Derrell Brittenum,Thomas Daniels, Akron Watson, Ju’Not Joyner and Chris Golightly insisted that they were targeted by producers of the Fox show who set out to humiliate them by making them audition and then disqualifying them due to their criminal records.”

According to TMZ, Attorney Freeman came to the conclusion that something was wrong with the way Idol disqualified potential contestants:

“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’s premise apparently is that his clients were employees of American Idol, and the show allegedly violated a California law that prohibits employers from asking applicants about their arrest history.

The attorney also claims that “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.”

Nigel Lythgoe, American Idol‘s executive producer, rejected the allegations, saying that “we treat everybody the same… no matter the race, religion or sex.”

If a court determines that as a threshold matter, the rejected contestants lack employee status, however, it’s unlikely that the legal action could go forward at least based on that legal theory.

Do you think that American Idol should continue to run background checks on contestants?

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182 Responses to “‘American Idol’ Alleged Racism: Nine Ex-Contestants To File Lawsuit”

  1. Anonymous

    Why are the filing a lawsuit for alleged racism when their claims are they wanted to humiliate them for their criminal past? The people filing the lawsuit are themselves making a racist comparison.

    How about this, don't have a criminal past and you would never had been humiliated.

  2. Lena Nava

    African-American is the wrong term to describe "black" people. over 99.9% of them have no connection to Africa more than others who came immigrated to America from Scandinavia, England, Ireland and so forth. I don't call myself a Scandinavian-European-American. These baseless, frivolous lawsuits are nothing more than that – baseless and frivolous!

  3. Anonymous

    I was JUST about to write this exact thing. Are being black and having a criminal past mutually exclusive? No? So then why are they, themselves, insinuating this? Dummies.

  4. Deirdre Hohn

    This is wrong in so many ways. If any of these people who were disqualified were white they would be disqualified as well if they had a criminal record. Let me point out that Randy Jackson is black and he has been on the show since the beginning.

  5. Anthony Alan

    It reminds me of Detroit in the 70's. The police had a program to reduce crime..It was called S.T.R.E.S.S…stop the robberies enjoy safe streets. The blacks claimed it was racist because all the criminals being caught or killed were black..The got it abolished and need I say anymore about the results.

  6. John Siebrecht

    oh baby are we in sync…..biggest farce of the twenty,n twenty-first century is calling these blacks afro americans……….wow finally somebody else with a pair.

  7. Donna Johnson

    They were found innocent to the changes, so calling them criminals is without merit. 😉

  8. Deirdre Hohn

    Just because they were black is stupid. If they were whites who had a criminal record they would get disqualified just the same. Let me point out that Randy Jackson is black and he has been on the show since the beginning therefore it is not becasue they are black. And hello, Ruben Studard, Jennifer Hudson, Jordin Sparks, and Fantasia were on the show! This is criminals who want money, in my political science class last semester we talked about this kind of thing happening and it needs to stop.

  9. John Siebrecht

    I say drop the was good for the first few years, but now its not about the contestants, its about the judges.and quite frankly I couldn't care less about the white haired freak, idiot talkin' fat black guy….none speakin' white guy, or miss perfect….spears.

  10. John Siebrecht

    maybe if there were afew blacks that could sing, this wouldn't be a problem.all these blacks do is scream, n talk through their noses.

  11. Kim Huttmann Haines

    Um, how you do you call a show racist when the only remaining original judge is black and there have been MANY black contestants on the show? We have way too many lawsuits in this country and way too many corrupt lawyers.

  12. Brenda Putman

    You knew the rules before you auditioned. Just an excuse to try to get money for nothing. Get a job. If you can't sing then get a job washing dishes or something. And if you can sing, do it the hard way figure out how to have a singing career on your own that's how it used to be done before all these singing reality shows began. This is just another example of using the tax payers money by using the court's time on frivilous lawsuits.

  13. Stephanie Cleveland

    Here is a brilliant idea……. STOP breaking the law!

  14. Karen Kowalczyk Wilson

    The were not " found innocent". First of all there is no such thing. You can only be found not guilty, meaning there was not enough evidence to convict, not proving they did not do it. With that said, the article did not say they were found "not guilty". It said they had not been convicted. Which could also mean the charges are still pending, such as in the case of the person with outstanding warrants.

  15. Ashley Shaniece Holt

    Those contestants are just looking for some attention. I could almost guarantee one or all of them are going to come out with a CD when this is all over. They wouldn't have won even if they did stay on the show. They are all probably jobless and looking for a quick buck. For them to even think about suing the show is pure nonsense.

  16. Bonnie Batten

    There were also 3 black winners. Ruben, Fantasia, and Jordin. Yeah, that show's really racist.

  17. Greg D Harland

    go figure you cant watch any music on tv without hearing blacks in music, i could not care less how they feel , im so tired of there crying like little kids, if I have my way id help the real american indians period….

  18. Anonymous


  19. Jay T Coleman

    Lol, wow.. Seriously? Are we, are we seriously doing this dance number again in the 2013 year? Every time something makes sense and black people are against it it's always " It's cause I'm black." No sir, it's because you have a WARRANT out for your arrest and I don't know about you, but I'm sure if I were running a successful contestant show I would not want my contestants singing on stage and all of the sudden the LAPD or whatever bum rush the stage to arrest them on a warrant charge. That's bad business. But I guess we black people will never give that race card crap up.

  20. Greg D Harland

    well Anthony you have that right and now only the blacks like downtown just check the police on who is being killed and who does the killing….i use to love stress they were always in the shit…

  21. Jean Eborg

    not suit will lose..proof is in the pudding…they got criminal records should not be allowed…its always been that way.

  22. Jean Eborg

    right on …I used to work with a black girl and she would disappear for several minutes and stay in bathroom …when she was caught by the boss it was always that she was black …enough of this bs ,,other blacks worked there and did not do that …she was just lazy …bosses don't want to get caught up in this nonsense …they should be sent home the first time and AI did them right .

  23. John Oates

    get over it You suck you don't get to play. sit down and shut up.

  24. Debbie Patton

    ummmmm-how do you MAKE someone audition. And, if I remember correctly, there is a question concerning that to which evidently ALL of them lied. Give me a break.

  25. Walter Jackson

    The question was , Do you think that American Idol should continue running back gronud checks on contestants? I say yes you, get a back ground check for many things in todays society. Like renting an apartment. When you are stopped for a minor traffic volation. Seems fair to me.

  26. Barbara Sauder

    My brother is a true African American and he is Caucasian, he was born in Morocco.

  27. Connie England

    It said everyone is treated the SAME. These guys are saying they WORKED for Idol and checked….if yu work for a company a background check is done…what's the whine….only blacks were caught…did they check? I'm sure there are all colors with arrests records…I've seen them…this isn't the entire stiry….Fake news again.

  28. Sheila Ames Le Roy

    So sick of the abusive use of the race card. Because of cases like this, totally without merit, the term "racism' just doesn't have the impact it should anymore. If you weren't picked, it is because you just aren't what they are looking for or you have no talent. There are 2 black judges what do you want! We don't hear other races or nationatities whining. Stop it.. you weren't picked Deal With It!

  29. Sandy Todd

    if they were white is the question. Have there been whites who were arrested and not disqualified? We don't know that. That's the question and it's important to stay focused on it.

  30. Sandy Todd

    if they were white is the question. Have there been whites who were arrested and not disqualified? We don't know that. That's the question and it's important to stay focused on it.

  31. Dale Schertell

    This is 2013…. Slavery was abolished 1865. In case you can't do the match that was 148 years ago. Get over the race thing please! We have a Black president. Where I live we have a Black governor. Another thing, there in no such thing as an African American anymore than than than someone being Irish American or German American or Italian American. Get on with life whether a Black, White, Hispanic, Chinese or whatever heritage you are…… We all all AMERICANS…. DEAL WITH IT.

  32. Anonymous

    As a whitey I don't call the NAAWP cause I can't get food stamps or welfare, suck it up and practice a little harder.

  33. Keshonna Griffith

    Karen that also can just mean you are innocent. Your just playing the legal word game. Some people really are just innocent.

  34. Kim Huttmann Haines

    Also, Fox has a legal dept. I hope they keep track of every minute spent defending against this stupidity and countersue for fees. Perhaps that will make people think twice about filing frivolous lawsuits, knowing that it could really end up costing them. It's too easy to throw crap at the wall and see if it sticks in these times. Enough is enough.

  35. Anonymous

    Bonnie Batten those people won a long time ago…the show has changed since then. the best singer dont ever win anymore they just pick the person who sings the kind of music thats going to make them the most money….and jordin wasn't black she was mixed.

  36. Gayle Schmidt Doyer

    I would love to see the day when the African-American population (or whatever they call themselves) will stop with the racist bullshit. Every time you turn around they are screaming discrimination of some sort and it getting old. It's 2013 people – stop riding the black train!

  37. Arsolar Clemons

    First of all if you are going on one of these shows and they ask you if you have a criminal background or any type of legal problems, tell the truth and you wont have to worry about being humiliated later or better yet why go on a tv show when you got warrants, but I also think A.I disqualifies these "contestants" on air because it gets people talking about and watching the show its all about the ratings, if it wasn't they would do the disqualifing as soon as they get the background checks, they start auditions in the fall, the show does not air til january, i believe they would have plenty of time.

  38. Dante James

    Truth of the matter is, It's only the vocal minority of blacks who play the race card. I know many blacks, including myself, who have always taken ownership for what I've done and what I've achieved. It's hard to keep hearing nonsense like "the man" is keeping somebody down because of their skin color in the year 2013. NOT saying racism doesn't exist, but these guys filing the suit are clowns!

  39. Arsolar Clemons

    So true!!!! the black winners music did not sale the way carrie and kelly or daughtry,scotty and now phil phillips

  40. Ron Miller

    They are filing the lawsuit because supposedly all those who have been disqualified in this way by AI are black. Not agreeing or disagreeing…just answering your question. This is stated in the article.

  41. Brenda Awe Finger

    If you recall….last year Jacob Lusk kept getting standing ovations and I didn't find him worth that, but the winner…Scotty McCreary never got 1 standing ovation! This crap needs to stop! Why don't white people, Italians, Mexicans, etc….. file discrimination also? (just sayin)

  42. Mary Kay Hoppe

    pay your warrents before you try out for idol. If you've ever been arrested, tell the truth whether you were convicted or not. The contestant question reads…"Have you ever been arrested?" Plain and simple, black and white. pun intended, ha.

  43. Ray Sossamon

    too damn many lawers looking for a payday–this is a total joke==if they lose this stupid lawsuit then the lawyers and the 9 people should pay the costs!

  44. Renee Fearrington

    Please….blame everyone else because you are a criminal…..I get sick of hearing that crap…quit whining and get yourself a real job don't stand in the welfare line either GO TO WORK.

  45. Monique Niki Wrice

    American Idol makes enough money to do backround checks. I do them all the time when hiring new employees. I do think American Idol does it for ratings. As we see the ratings are falling every year. But far as the lawsuit goes, I don't know how American Idol application is written, what questions are asked. So I can not commend on that, but I can commend on the people sueing them, if you know that you have a case pending or been in trouble with the law, then just be honest and tell them. All they can do is tell you yes or no if you can be the next American Idol…

  46. Anonymous

    Ever consider the fact that they just weren't talented enough? Of course not. They're black it's racist.

  47. Kay Lewis Delozier

    Some people have a criminal past and regret it. They turn their life around and become productive citizens. People make mistakes. I think AI broadcasting the meeting with Jermaine Jones
    telling him why they were letting him go was a big mistake. They used to just say "John Smith" is no longer in the competition and move on.

  48. Anonymous

    Yes. American Idol has an obligation and responsibility to continue background checks on contestants for the safety and protection of its staff, crew and other contestants. For example, what if a convicted child sex offender is working directly with a minor and there is an inappropriate incident that occurs. That's some major liability exposure right there. AI is more than a contest, it's a television production – it's a reality show. It's a business and there is a legal structure to it.

  49. Anonymous

    mkshort the show has changed because votes are based alot on texting & mostly young people take the time to vote. The winners have been mostly young cutish boys as it is young teenage girls voting primarily. All programs for tv are based on money & ratings. The younger generation download music so it seems the outcome has beenleaning to theim but to call it racist is ridiculous!! 3 out of 4 judges are black! Did AI showboat Jermaines ousting for ratings…absolutely but he broke the rules (not to mention the law) it's reality TV. He shouldn't be surprised or suing!!!!It is a coincedence all were black or not

  50. De Neice

    Oh lord! Hahahahahahaha! What a joke. Sour grapes….that is all….

  51. George Ware

    Apparently they never read their auditioning contract… It states- We (american idol) reserves the right to disqualify and or exclude, in our sole and absolute discreption, any individual from any of the auditions, for any reason or no reason at all. They also have the right to change the rules at any given time..

  52. George Ware

    There is nothing in the auditioning contract that covers arrest warrants, or pending warrants like there is for the xfactor auditions. But american idol can disqualify for any reason or no reason at all. and they are not required to give you a reason, unless they chose to do so…

  53. Sarno Mike

    how can the show be racist? the worst singer ever, the one who sounds like she inhaled ten balloons , who should never have won, was black…fantasia, that was racist vs the white girl…they just lost that case.

  54. Mike Tavernier

    Racism My ASS….Im so sick of cry babies whining about racism….Shut the hell up and move on.

  55. Anonymous

    Honestly I have no doubt in my mind this is a frivolous lawsuit out for money because Chris Golightly doesn't do anything unless it's for his own personal gain. He has spent his whole career lying and crying victim to anyone who would listen not just in the states but in South Korea too. Maybe money from this lawsuit will go to finance the lawsuit against him in Korea. Or maybe he just skipped the country to get away from that.Not only that but isn't Corey Clark the guy who already tried to get money out of idol by claiming he had a relationship with Paula Abdul he only got kicked off because of that? It's just another way to try and get free money because there careers aren't working out as planned. Personally I am not an American Idol fan but I hope they win because this is just stupid Uou got kicked off cause you lied simple as that you signed a contract and weren't hones with the information that is not racist that is just how things work.

  56. Julian Torres

    How can it be racist when you have nicki minaj and randy jackson judging they also participating in disqualifying these people there werent good singers.

  57. Erica Ngbeken

    how can they say that when ruben studdard and fantasia both won?

  58. Ed Hunnicutt

    It has nothing to do with race, It has to do with being criminals.. Just because they were not convinced of the crime they were suspected of when they were dismissed only means they can try again.. SO… try again… But remember, It's a talent show.. you have to have more talent than quite a few other people in order to win..

  59. Terry Jones

    "by producers of the Fox show who set out to humiliate them by making them audition" By making them audition? Am I missing something? They didn't want to audition but succumbed to the producers?

  60. Diana Andrade

    It has nothing to do with race. American Idol winners have been black too. I don't think it doesn't have to do with race; just a criminal background.

  61. John Smith

    Aren't Randy Jackson, Nicky Minaj, Mariah Carey, and Paul Abdul black or at least part black? J lo was a Bronx Puerto Rican. People just need to face reality: they aren't that good.

  62. Aaron Rodriguez

    white guy with a guitar equals finalist on that crappy show.

  63. Robin Leedsburg

    Well, Fox news did try to make Asian people ugly by picking an ugly Asian on their show. You know, William Hung, the short, fat, bucktooth guy, he's the exact guy in those anti Asian propaganda comic books they put. Fox is really pathetic.

  64. Kesha Smith

    Well, I don't know about the show being racist…seeing as it opened the doors for so many black, hispanic, and other minority singers… but, things should be the same for all contestants no matter what. Does anybody remember the whole "Frenchie Davis and Antonella Barba" mess? Oh well.

  65. Anonymous

    Not only do they want the race card to be a get out of jail free card, they want it to be an ATM card as well.

  66. Sharon Kirk

    Here we go again. Claiming victimhood because they happen to be black. Oh dear…the FACT THEY HAVE CRIMINAL RECORDS WOULDN'T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT? Give me a friggin' break. I don't care what color you are…if you have no talent, or if you have a criminal record….you're OUT! Stop whinning for God's sakes!

  67. Gene Usry

    The ol race card has just about ruined race relations in the USA.Just make a study and find out who keeps stiring the pot.From the military to politics and in between the last several years the equal opportunity proponents has based its stance on race not qualifications.So the commie King is still gaining ground.Before you speak deny MLK's attending the commie school in Tn upon Monteagle Mtn, back when? Most whites are moe subceptacle to change their views without having race shoved down their throats, However Hollywood and politicians keep the movement going.Like some even blacks suggest try cleaning up your yard before venturing elesewhere.Let the stats for crime and education speak for itself.Nobody is holding a gun to their head making them sell drugs and commit other violent acts by the groves.Education is freely obtainable with a little fortitude.There is good and bad on both sides, its just a shame both sides have to suffer from the idiots whom continue to stir the pot and the 10% whom ruin it for everyone elese.

  68. Brandon Reinhart

    "Freeman’s premise apparently is that his clients were employees of American Idol…" Really? Do the contestants have to fill out I-9's? Do they receive a W2 from "Idol" when filing their taxes? This is a joke. Just like my music business teacher in college said: "Anybody can sue anyone for anything."

  69. Brenda Harding

    My first thought was they made them audition is hilarious and the fact that it is an audition not a job application they don't have a leg to stand on. These contestants are auditioning to be American Idols which that in itself should mean that the contestants are without convictions or wanted by the law. What kind of idol would they be if criminals were allowed to be idols?

  70. Anonymous

    They only kick you off the show if you have a criminal record and don't tell the producers about it. If you admit you have a record, they won't kick you off. Try to hide it and they will. Of course, it would help if you didn't have a record in the first place.

  71. Tj Kindle

    a bunch of freakin cry babies I swear…. boo hoo you blacks who thinks everyone owes you somethin, get real… you musta sucked at singing for one.. for two yeah there's been more than just one black winner in american idol, so take your ass's n find you somethin in life instead of thinkin someone owes u somethin..

  72. Natalia Mirksyaya

    thank you for a rational response. Reasonable people like you make me believe in humanity and thats not all is lost, lol )))

  73. Ernest Tho

    Stupid niggers once again play the race card. Get a life you criminals!

  74. Bob Labroscian

    Was wondering when someone would play the race card. Thought it would have been long before this. Competition is about singing, talent not race………..uuuggghhh.

  75. Doris Doherty

    For crissake knock it off on the racisim stuff. TALENT dear hearts, TALENT.

  76. Michael Ostrowski

    What are employees doing auditioning for a show? If they are so good go to Motown and sign a recording contract. "Gotta go to Mo", "Gotta go to Mo"..LOL!

  77. Tonya Peterson

    I think this is stupid anyway. Do you realize how many singing sensations there are that have criminal records. Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, look at the trouble that Randy Travis is in right now, and that is just to name a few. Sorry, I'm a country fan, but the music industry didn't kick them out or ignore them because of their past, and look at what we would have missed out on if they had. I think that IDOL should take advantage of these guys backgrounds to show people that no matter wh their past is they still have a future. If these guys have a chance to turn their lives around they should be given the opportunity. Let the legal system take care of the legal stuff, and IDOL take care of the talent.

  78. Russell A. Dorr

    Refreshing. It is their show and if they don't want contestants with outstanding warrents, I don't blame them. However, it is important that the same standards be applied to all contestants. Without knowing the details, I haven't an opinion regarding the suit's efficacy.

  79. Brian Keith Price

    Don't be a crimminal if you want to be on American Idol! easy fix!

  80. Anonymous

    Nobody" makes" you Audition! An it was "their" arrest record. They violated the law an got that record on their own. Karma just bit them on the ass! Maybe it just "Happened" that all 9 were Black because the Majority living in the area and committing crimes were black, an the majority arrested were black? I see NO Racism!

  81. Paul Banwell

    Employers not hiring someone with a criminal record does not violate the E.O.A. American Idol would also fall under this catagory. This is a frivolous lawsuit. 9 holpefulls who did not get to hollywood and 1 money hungry lawyer, is all.
    this comes down too.

  82. Paige Armstrong

    They weren't fired, they were DISQUALIFIED, on the basis of having OUTSTANDING WARRANTS. When I applied just last week in DC for a license to marry my partner, on of the things they did was run a warrant check. They didn't care what the eventual disposition of that case might have been; if I'd had a warrant, no license. And marriage is a legal right, not a reality show competition.

  83. Paige Armstrong

    They weren't fired, they were DISQUALIFIED, on the basis of having OUTSTANDING WARRANTS. When I applied just last week in DC for a license to marry my partner, one of the things they did was run a warrant check. They didn't care what the eventual disposition of that case might have been; if I'd had a warrant, no license. And marriage is a legal right, not a reality show competition.

  84. Anonymous

    What a joke… what is the chance that the contestants who were disqualified 1) knew that having arrest warrants out for them at the time was grounds for dismissal 2) they knew it but decided to see if they could get away with it and then 3) said, "hey, yeah, let's sue… let's cry 'racism' again… let's get some money out of the show because settling out of court is cheaper than fighting for their legal rights" and then, lastly they justify it saying "hey, they 'owe' us anyway- they 'owe' us for retribution for what someone did to our ancestors… it might not have been them, or their families but we're 'entitled' to this money anyway 'cause we're black and we're entitled".

  85. Anonymous

    Let's Take a Look at the past seasons winners appears to be a " Snow Storm " On Idol.
    So Maybe there is something to the Racism Claim.

  86. Anonymous

    Let's Look at the past season winners…… appears to be a " Snow Storm " On Idol.
    Maybe there is something to the Racism Claim?

  87. Anonymous


  88. Kerry Lasiter Billingsley

    While I highly doubt ''the show'' is racist, I would like to see them explain the way contestants are chosen. People who audition for that show don't even get to sing for 10 seconds for a preliminary screening, and they still put terrible singers through to the television judges. Stupid.

  89. Edward Teach

    If they were racist then how did any blacks get to preform? This is just another way to extract money that they don't deserve from something or some one that was unfortunate enough to have any dealings with them, it happens more often than not.

  90. Mark Jaske

    I agree with Jay T Coleman.
    It cracks me up because they lied on their applications, and then got caught, therefore it must be racist! Come on, give me a break. Fantasia and Reuben both won the whole thing and they were both in the final against white singers. Plus this year has alot of talented black singers.

  91. Jeff Bacon

    The "race card", I was wondering when some loser was going to play the race card…how incredibly stupid. I how AI counter sues for liabel. If they pay one penny then they are opening the door to other idiots who are insecure about their race and are looking for a fast buck…the race card, you've got to be kidding!

  92. Andrew Bourdeau

    really racism? I'm f'n sorry but I'm getting f'n fed up everytime something happens to an african american they scream racism 1000 yrs from now its going to be the same damn thing…..shit happens get over it and stop using racism ffs.

  93. Anonymous

    Go to prisons and ask OJ what he thinks, after all we need an impartial judge here. ask the hit man-read here that the black panthers have a hit out on mr. zimmerman. american idol-you are very smart. screen em-criminals out!

  94. Tom Marsden

    mkshort- kinda like Obama isn't black either? Yet the race card gets thrown around every time something doesn't go his way. Really!!!!!!

  95. Keith Manning

    If you lie in an application for a job about your criminal background you can be terminated for this, what is the difference? All contestants are asked about a criminal background. If you answer truthfully there is no issue. If you lie, you get removed from the show. Plain and simple. No racism.

  96. Politicsfroma Lush

    what's even more incredible is the lawyers who are purely motivated by greed (worse than wall street btw) who fly in as crusaders for the "black" cause. the plantifs are lazy and the lawyers are evil. but a politically correct society can't say that….. oh wait, unless you are white, successful, and wealthy then its ok to be selfish and evil. do I sound frustrated?

  97. Ed Smith

    They are not employees of American Idol. They are contestants. Just like the people who goes on Jeopardy. The show is a singing CONTEST. Another thing.. "making them audition"? How do ANYONE make a person audition. To stand in line and show up for the show is YOUR CHOICE. 10's of 1000s of people show up, they do not do background checks on all of those people. NOW, if they think you sing good and give you a golden ticket, THAT is when they do background checks.
    I don't think that racism and discrimination even REMOTELY holds water. Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barino, Jordin Sparks.. all were black and all won.. and lets not forget Joshua Ledet and Jessica Sanchez from last year who were in the final three..and there is Jennifer Hudson, D'Angelo, Latoya London, etc..
    Way way way off base and frivolous.

  98. Kathy Smith


  99. Anonymous

    I suppose I'm the only person who thinks these guys weren't bright enough to come up with this lawsuit on their own. You really should be ranting at the slimeball that is James H. Freeman (white, mind you). This frivolous lawsuit was his brainchild, for sure, and took next to no convincing to tell the cast of characters "See! This is no coincidence! It's racist!". Even in the unlikely event that this lawsuit is not thrown out and is successful, the only person making money here is Freeman.

  100. TymeLord Todd

    I have to disclosed my background or criminal history for applying work in my quest for work. There is a difference between my work & entertainment. But I don't know of what American Idol application asking criminal history or not. Hell! There are entertainers with criminal records such as T.I. or JayZee. I think it is an image issue with American Idol. If so, that's weak defense because of the current entertainers with criminal records who are making money.

  101. Shannon Campbell

    you have to have background checks done with everything you do pertaining to new jobs, events, activities, sports. was most likely in the paperwork prior to being let on the show, wonder if it was listed on the application screen process paperwork

  102. Hanne Alexis Poulsen

    I think the bigger issue here is… are people really still watching American Idol? When a show like this turns out winner after winner… it's no big deal to be the 'American Idol' because they will replace you with a new 'Idol' in just a few months.

  103. Ed Smith

    And just as a FYI… it was a lawyer who got these people together to sue. It was never the people. The lawyer convinced them that they were being discriminated by AI. So not to throw the contestant under the bus, but its a lawyer that is trying to get rich. You can tell by using something as loosely as they were employees of AI and therefore not allow to be question about their arrest record by California standards.
    They are not employees. AI had people of all race as contestants.. You know, sometimes I think that if you are proven to have brought a frivolous lawsuit in the court system, you should lose your ability to practice law for a year.

  104. Antoinette Nunnari McCarthy

    Joanna Pacini was eliminated because of a criminal record(she is white) and Chris Golightly was disqualified over a prior recording contract(not his criminal record if he has one)….If you are going to file a lawsuit you should at least have all your facts straight….Terrell Brittenum and Derrell Brittenum stole a car to get to American Idol…idiots…and Corey Clark…please this loser has been trying to sue American Idol for years and fails everytime

  105. Jr Peoples

    First of all, You don't go on national television and tell the world about somebodys criminal record. Second you should have told them in a private meeting why they are being disqualified and not in public view of the tv audience. Some people are trying to change their way of living and this could have been a jump start. Oustanding warrants, coild be parking tickets. Who knows!

  106. John Biederman

    Sandy Todd There have been white people who hadbeen arreste, but they were forthcoming of their past, so there weren't any issues with them. Not too mention, none of them had outstanding warrants, or tried to lie to cover it up.

  107. Tonnie Bentley

    Again, well said Dante. I am so tired of hearing any race blame everything and everyone for their mishaps in life. I have always taught my children to own what they do. I have never allowed them to place blame anywhere except where it belongs…with themselves. Everyone makes their own choices in life.

  108. Dale Hubbard

    The black community touts that white people are ultimately to blame for their situation in life. If you have someone to blame, you are not responsible, and have an excuse to wallow in your anger until the wrong-doer makes it right. That is the greatest difference between black & white culture– White people tend to teach their children to accept responsibility for their actions. — 'Blame' looks backwards to the past; responibility looks forward.

  109. Anonymous

    it just so happens that the contestants were black and had records of crime, probably no white people had this issue, because either they didn't have a crime record or they THOUGHT since I am a criminal, they will probably find out.the black, has to start using their minds on more productive ideas and being smarter, than trying to get over on the system and stop crying racism when they get caught.

  110. Anonymous

    very simple decision for a judge…. the judge might even get to get a longer lunch… DISMISSED!

  111. QG RetailHell

    Isn't that Corey Clark guy the one that claimed he knocked boots with Paula Abdul and tried to sue her and American Idol over it?

  112. Anonymous

    you do have to go with the odds! and agree african american is the wrong term to use for 99 % of BLACKS. Call me honky, call me white but hell don't call me caucassian! If I was in africa.. I'd say you can call me the white guy when describing me in a lineup.. I have no problem.. My black friends have no problem with me saying black instead of A.A.

  113. Will Haney

    I'm sure it's just a coincidence that all nine of them had committed crimes and all nine were black, the prisons of America are filled with blacks, the only crime FOX committed was not giving simple background checks to the contestants in the first place.

  114. Samuel West

    well I'm going to say first subway, now this. I feel bad for the people who are honest. I too feel bad for the people who feel this way just either looking for a free meal, or just exposure. suing is way out of control people need to learn to stay in there lane, if you feel like things are in just let someone sue you. I hate the way the laws work, but things will never end.

  115. John Nicoletti

    Here we go again. Racism on American Idol. How about racism in NBA,NFL, that is predominately BLACK. do you see white athletes claiming discrimination for not having as many white athletes.? When will the black community wake up, and move into the 21st.century.? You truly have become, old,tired, and boring. I guess you wanrt quota's now for every show, or sport. I was a victim of affirmative action in the seventies and eighties, when i was required to hire a minority,preferably a black individual to work in my sales office. I could not hire a white person, even if that individual was qualified. I had to hire a dropout of high school, black lady, with absolutely no office skills, or previous experience. After she was hired, we discovered she was a prostitute for the past ten years. Only in America.

  116. Linda Nafula

    There is a complete difference between Racism and qualified disqualification. AI has the complete right to disqualify with reason. If these punks knew they had felonies they should have known better, no company wants to sponsor felons or people with warrants. How about taking responsibility for yourself instead of pointing the finger for some easy money!

  117. E.z. Wiggins

    Its their show! If they don't want ex cons or people with "questionable history" representing their brand, then so be it! To all these "alleged victims", just shut up and go away please!

  118. Hubnik Michelle

    This lawsuit wil not go anywhere, all it did was get nine guys name in the news, and negative recognition that will follow them for years to come…It's actually laughable and I would think that if at anytime in the furture, if any of these individuals wanted to further their "career's" this is definately going to be a mark against them and will stall them in their tracks. Nobody will want to take a chance and give an opportunity or invest anything into an individual who has a history of playing the race card for their past actions. They just made themselves a liability.

  119. Christian Lambert

    @ Leroi King , it is exactly that kind of ignorance that fuels BS like this lawsuit. What happened to judging a person by the content of their character and not the color of their skin!!!

  120. Emily Hoffert

    Of course they should run background checks. If my son or daughterwere to be on the show, I wouldn't want anyone there with them that was criminal no matter what color they were!

  121. Estes Wanda

    It is a shame that the race card has to be pulled anyone with criminal record should be taken off the show no matter what their color. The people will pick the winner not the producers but they have the right not to promote criminals regardless of color

  122. Mette Saxbjørn

    And with the contestants being rolemodels for especially young people they shouldt have any kind of criminal record at all

  123. Robert Meeks

    I DON'T believe American Idol is racist, and I do believe in background checks. Should someone who is runing from the law, or has criminal backgound be alowed who knows what could happen.

  124. Sabrina Eloha

    I don't think American Idol is even looking for talented peeps anymore, it is just one big "Clown-show!"

  125. Terri Sams

    I am so sick to death of people throwing the race card into the ring. I believe in equality for all but to try to sue because you are black is ridiculous. Just because you get kicked off of a show? If you have a warrant for your arrest you SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED ON THE SHOW. I DO NOT CARE IF YOU ARE WHITE BLACK PURPLE OR GREEN. If you want to participate in things then be a stand up person and mind your manners and obey the law JEEZ PEOPLE GET A FREAKIN' CLUE.

  126. V Stephanie Charles

    I'm black, and I'm very annoyed at the fact their using the excuse "It's because I'm black," no! You have warrants! They don't want potential criminals on their show for the sake of everyone's security, and safety. I pray to god those men don't win this ridiculous case..their clearly just out for money..I mean, who isn't?

  127. Robert Hughes

    If they KNOW the guy has warrants and is WANTED and still allow him to be on the show that's aiding and abeting. Sorry, thugs, that they won't be complicitous in your criminal futures.

  128. Rick Smith

    Is there anything in life that Blacks CAN'T bitch about losing at and accuse others of racism? F..k you if you were disappointed you mon..y.

  129. Marvin Joshua

    If there were white people with warrants that were not disqualified then I would say racism, other wise it is a frivolous law suite. I would be interested in seeing more evidence.

  130. Anonymous

    All else fails , pull the ole race card out, face reality, you suck.

  131. Scott Petitclerc

    excuse me but we have a black president, we also have black doctors, lawyers, actors, ceo's, high ranking military officials… every sector of business wall streets restraunt owners retail ect…affirmative teaches people to get their daily fish to eat but what is really needed is people need to learn to fish so they can eat for life.

  132. Julie Ann West Tucker

    Absolutely YES you should run background checks on these people. The show is called "American Idol", and we don't need shady people being role models for our country and maybe these people should think about their lifestyle of crime before they come on a show like American Idol. DUH! I absolutely love this show but have been appalled at the way some of the people who are not selected act and delighted at how very humble others are that are not selected. It just shows you the good and the bad in people. If you aren't selected this year (and aren't criminal), try again next year. YES, YES, YES for background checks.

  133. Heather Varnadoe

    If having background checks done is part of the porcess, what's the problem? Did all these contestants have a 'blemish' in their past that would prevent them from competing? So, all of us that have anything bad from our past, we should sue? Having active warrants, what was he thinking?

  134. Melanie Davis

    The rules say that you cannot have a warrent for your arrest…soooo follow the rules, if you want to be an American Idol, stay out of trouble! The rules have been the same since season 1, maybe if you have a desire to be on the show you should read the rules! Personally, if it were my show, I would not allow people with warrents or legal issues to be on it either. Wouldn't matter if they were white, black, purple or green!

  135. Melanie Davis

    The rules say that you cannot have a warrent for your arrest…soooo follow the rules, if you want to be an American Idol, stay out of trouble! The rules have been the same since season 1, maybe if you have a desire to be on the show you should read the rules! Personally, if it were my show, I would not allow people with warrents or legal issues to be on it either. Wouldn't matter if they were white, black, purple or green!

  136. Heather Varnadoe

    Apparently, anyone is unable to because there's no such thing as 'racsim' toward us.

  137. Anonymous

    This is so laughable! To bad you can't arrest stupid…These people were disqualified because they are CRIMINALS for goodness sakes..Outstanding warrants for your arrest means you did something wrong and you are wanted..Duh..

  138. Rosetta Marsh Wolf

    OMG, its always the same, why cant we all just be equal and stop the racest bull. regardless if you white black, green blue. ect. if you have a record you should not be able to perform. this mess just gets so old.

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