Former American Idol contestant Jermaine Jones doesn’t believe that American Idol has discriminated against its black contestants.
Nine black former contestants filed a petition in January before the Equal Opportunity Employment Commission, and requested permission to sue the show and Fox. The group felt that the producers “set out to humiliate them by making them audition and then disqualifying them due to their criminal records.”
The contestants who filed the petition include: 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).
The group has now filed a lawsuit against the singing competition, alleging that they were kicked out of because of their race. Their attorney, James Freeman, claimed Idol only asked black contestants about their criminal history, and the lawsuit alleges that the producers tried to portray them as “violent criminals, liars and sexual deviants.”
A tenth contestant, Jacob John Smalley (Season 2), has since been added to the lawsuit, and each person is asking for $25 million.
Jones, however, called the allegations of racism “ludicrous.”
“I think they are going a little overboard,” Jones told The Hollywood Reporter. “Some of these cases are over 10 years old. What have you been doing since the show that you feel you deserve $25 million?”
Jones himself was disqualified after former producers Ken Warwick and Nigel Lythgoe found out that he had outstanding arrest warrants. He had just made the Top 11 before he was kicked off, but hasn’t taken it personally.
“God don’t like ugly,” he said. “You can’t win when you are ugly.”
Jones has since released a video for his song “All Around the World” and will be auditioning for The Voice Sunday.
“I want to be on either Adam Levine’s team or Cee Lo Green’s team,” he said. “You have to take the hand you are dealt and make something out of it.”
What do you think of the lawsuit against American Idol? Do you agree with Jermaine Jones?