American Idol Racial Discrimination Lawsuit Will Move Forward!

American Idol Corey ClarkAn American Idol lawsuit brought by former contestants on the show accusing producers of racial discrimination will move forward. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has ruled that 10 black American Idol hopefuls who were disqualified from the show for reasons other than their singing will be allowed to sue FOX and the show’s production company, 19 Entertainment.

The plaintiffs in the American Idol lawsuit claim that the show has demonstrated a pattern of racial discrimination over the show’s history. They are accusing producers of using the arrest records of black male contestants against them to get them kicked off the show. According to the suit, 31 percent of black American idol semi-finalists were disqualified for reasons “unrelated to their singing talent.” Moreover, the lawsuit claims that no white or non-black contestant has ever been disqualified from American Idol on the series.

FOX and 19 Entertainment representatives have firmly denied any racial discrimination behind the scenes of American Idol. The network notes that three out of the past twelve winners of the show have been black or biracial, including Candice Glover and Ruben Studdard. Producers stated in a response to the lawsuit that there is no evidence whatsoever that “the particular disqualification of these specific individuals had anything to do with their race.”

The network had hoped to have the lawsuit dismissed after repeatedly denying the contestants were technically “employees” of American Idol. As non-employees, producers insisted to the EEOC, the plaintiffs were not even protected under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, which protects workers from being discriminated against on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex and religion.

However, documents obtained by ABC News in the American Idol racial discrimination lawsuit show that contestants were made to fill out an I-9 employee eligibility form. In addition, company memos called contestant Corey Clark as a “principal performer” and referred to him repeatedly as an Employee. The EEOC apparently felt this was enough evidence to allow the lawsuit to move forward.

Corey Clark is the only one of the plaintiffs in the case to make the top 10 before being disqualified. Producers said he had failed to disclose a previous arrest record as required when he filled out his paperwork to be on the show. He later claimed he had an affair with American Idol judge Paula Abdul while he was on the show. Clark also previously filed a personal lawsuit against Viacom for alleged derogatory comments made about him by an MTV news reporter.

Personally, we’re going to weigh in here and say we think while it is weird that no non-black contestants were ever disqualified and a lot of black contestants were… not disclosing your arrest record was a requirement to be on the show, not a request. If you refuse to play by the rules, then you get your a** handed to you when you break them. We look forward to getting more information on whether FOX disqualified any singers who did NOT lie on their application paperwork…

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13 thoughts on “American Idol Racial Discrimination Lawsuit Will Move Forward!”

  1. These guys said they didn’t lie and asking “have you ever been arrested” in Cali is an illegal question anyway. Stefano Lagone lied and wasn’t DQ’ed. Frenchie Davis said she didn’t lie and was DQ’ed. Antonella Barba was allowed to continue and she did porn.

  2. According to the EEOC, it is illegal under Federal law to not hire someone because of an arrest record.

    And… if they only booted people who were black, but ignored arrest records of people who were white, I think they have a big problem.

    I’ve always really enjoyed watching American Idol, but it does turn out they are a bunch of racists, then it’s time for the show to make an exit.

  3. That question was on every contestents paper work.Have you ever been arrested.the person above lied.And to top it off when he got caught,he made up a lie about Paula.I do not see how he could file a law suit.The only other one I remember was a lady named Frechie.She had a record and lied and was sent home.She was never a cry baby about it.She went on and landed a show on Broadway .She knew she was wrong.

  4. Frenchie (black) had a nude photo out there that she disclosed from the get go to them, yet they let her in and waited until she was in the top 12 to disqualify her, yet the photo NEVER appeared. Antonella Barba (White) LIED and said there were no nude photos out there, yet when they did show up Simon Cowell and Ryan Seacrest defended it and she wasn’t disqualified. Corey Clark (Black) LIED and said he didn’t have an arrest record and he was disqualified. Stefano Langone (White) LIED and said he didn’t have an arrest record and did and he wasn’t disqualified. Hmmmm. It’s not a matter of illegal in CA to ask if you have a criminal background to hire in my opinion. This is a contest they are volunteering to enter. seems fishy to me. They were disqualified in a random and discriminatory my imho

  5. there’s nothing white about the names Antonella and Stefano. the only random and discriminatory thing around here is your comment.

  6. Well, now this has got me wondering if Justin Guarini is part of the lawsuit – I had never read him as African-American but from the pic, maybe a blend? Sorry for my ignorance! On Frenchie, I don’t remember that she had a record – I thought it was just the topless photos, and as it was the first season, they were trying to keep it super clean. As time went on, some things out in the social media were quite tolerated! And maybe even appreciated, as it just meant more, um, exposure.

  7. Who cares really anyway? None of them would have made it anyway. Except Frenchie who did just fine on her own, This is really nothing more then envy and sour grapes.

  8. Whether or not a person has a criminal record shouldn’t be an issue, particularly for a game show. The reason being many superstars have rap sheets for various misdemeanors and so forth. According to the law and most employment applications, which it would be nice to see the AI employment application, felonies are generally the only crimes you have to list. Another sad statistic is a lot of black people, particularly after 1970’s, have arrest records for very minor violations that their white counterparts would never be prosecuted for. Racism isn’t just a singular event it’s an overall thing that continues today. Take a look at the case in Texas where the white teenager was let off with basically a slap on the wrist for murdering 4 people and grossly injuring others (drunk driving and killing someone is not an accident it is murder). If that had been a black teenager he would have probably received the death penalty in Texas, which is well known for killing people who have very low IQ’s and people of color for crimes they didn’t commit (Dept of Justice statistics).

  9. …far as I’m concerned, this is the entertainment equivalent of the Iran / Iraq War.
    Is there any way both sides can lose?

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