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American Idol could be sued by nine former black contestants who suggest their disqualification was driven by the racist motivations of its producers in order to increase ratings.
The Urban Daily reports attorney James H. Freeman is appealing to the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission claiming that the information Idol used to remove his clients was illegally obtained and that his clients were never convicted of any crimes.
Freeman’s clients include Idol contestants Corey Clark (Season 2), Jaered Andrews (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).
While representatives of Fox have yet to comment, Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe was shocked after hearing word of the lawsuit.
"We treat everybody the same ... no matter the race, religion or sex," Lythgoe told TMZ. "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."
Photo Courtesy of Fox