If you thought the only people who were “humiliated” on American Idol were the musically challenged ones whose tryouts are featured in each season’s opening episodes, think again. That’s according to New York attorney James H. Freeman, at least.
He claims that he conducted an investigation into the show and found that producers had only publicly disqualified nine people from the show since it first hit the air … and they all happened to be black. He calls it a “cruel and inhumane” scheme to exploit and humiliate black contestants for ratings, and plans to sue the program to right the wrong. From Jezebel:
9 former American Idol contestants — Corey Clark, Jaered Andrews, Donnie Williams, Terrell Brittenum, Derrell Brittenum, Thomas Daniels, Akron Watson, Ju’Not Joyner and Chris Golightly — are banding together to sue the singing competition for ousting them as part of a racist ratings-boosting plot. The attorney at the helm of the suit points out that Idol producers had noticed that these men, the only 9 disqualified in the history of the show, were all black. He adds that the “scheme” begins when the contestants are asked if they’ve ever been arrested, a violation of California employment law — not to mention that none of the disqualified men were actually convicted for their charges — and perpetuation of “destructive stereotypes” about black men. Executive producer Nigel Lythgoereponded to the “ridiculous” allegations.
“We treat everybody the same … no matter the race, religion or sex. I think we’ve always had a fantastic share of talent from contestants both black and white… I don’t think I’ve ever seen racism at the show.”