American Idol suddenly has a lot more to worry about than who will join Jennifer Hudson at the judging table next season.
Ten ex-contestants, all of whom are African-American, have filed a lawsuit against the show, charging it with racism and discrimination and seeking at least $25 million… apiece.
The contestants (names listed below) contend the series acted in a "cruel and inhumane" way by producing their arrest records and making them appear like "violent criminals, liars and sexual deviants," according to the case's lead attorney.
The main point of allegedly illegal contention?
The lawsuit claims American Idol only dug into the past of its black contestants. No white performer, it reads, was ever kicked off the show for reasons related to his or her personal history.
The 10 are seeking such a huge payday because they believe their lives have been ruined due to these racist portrayals and they want Fox to come up with new anti-racism guidelines.
In no particular order, the plaintiffs are:
- Corey Clark (Season 2)
- Jaered Andrews (Season 2)
- Jacob John Smalley (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)