Black American Idol Contestants Seek $25 Million Each in Lawsuit

Claim the show misrepresented them to look like criminals.

Posted: 07/25/2013 09:30 AM EDT
American Idol

Ten former contestants on American Idol are seeking more from the hit competition show than a recording contract. The hopefuls from various seasons, all Black, are asking for $25 million each in a lawsuit against the series, reports TMZ.

The suit claims American Idol smeared Black contestants by digging up old arrest records and calling them out about their allegedly criminal pasts on national television, causing humiliation and crushing their reputations. The plaintiffs claim that only Black contestants were targeted in this way. 

The former contestants believe that the "cruel and inhumane" tactics were a ploy to increase ratings for the show, which has been struggling to keep its audience recently. 

The contestants, who want AI producers to adopt anti-racism regulations as part of their settlement, named in the lawsuit 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).

Representatives for American Idol have yet to comment on the scandal.

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(Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

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