Black American Idol Contestants Seek $25 Million Each in Lawsuit

PASADENA, CA - JANUARY 08: (L-R) Judges Randy Jackson, Mariah Carey, Keith Urban and Nicki Minaj of "American Idol" speak onstage during the FOX portion of the 2013 Winter TCA Tour at Langham Hotel on January 8, 2013 in Pasadena, California.  (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Black American Idol Contestants Seek $25 Million Each in Lawsuit

Claim the show misrepresented them to look like criminals.

Published July 25, 2013

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. is your #1 source for Black celebrity news, photos, exclusive videos and all the latest in the world of hip hop and R&B music. 

(Photo: Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Written by Evelyn Diaz


Latest in news

Martin: The Legacy of a King

Mon, Jan. 21 9/8c EST