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'American Idol'

Black Contestants' Racial Suit

We Want $25 Mil ... EACH

7/24/2013 4:28 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

0724_idol_ten_launch
Ten black former "American Idol" contestants from various seasons have filed a lawsuit against the show, claiming they were unjustly booted because of their race ... and they EACH want $25 million ... minimum.

We broke the story ... the contestants have accused producers of conducting a "cruel and inhumane" scheme to exploit them for ratings by illegally digging up their arrest histories and using the records to humiliate them on national TV.

The contestants -- 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).

The contestants' lawyer claims the show used the arrest info to make his clients appear to be "violent criminals, liars and sexual deviants" ... when they weren't. In fact, none had ever even been convicted of the charges stemming from their arrests.

Worse, the lawyer claims ONLY black people were ever probed about their alleged criminal pasts ... never white people.

Not only do the contestants feel they got the shaft, they claim their lives have been ruined by the show's racist portrayals.

The 10 are suing for discrimination and other alleged misdeeds.  They also want Idol to adopt new anti-racism regulations.

Reps for FOX and FremantleMedia had no comment.

371 COMMENTS

No Avatar
76.

Mike    

These guys are pathetic. Just accept the fact that you are all losers.

373 days ago
77.

disinter    

George Alexander yarid claims the baby was named after him!

373 days ago
78.

Majestik    

I had a pack of cats sitting in my back yard last night fighting, sounded like a church choir compared to these ten.

373 days ago
79.

Mitch    

Yeah? And I want to win the lottery!!!

373 days ago
80.

MISERABLE66    

Yeah... uhhh..... Good luck with that.

373 days ago
81.

rjinsd    

playing the race card for cash "always" pays off.

373 days ago
82.

Ginger    

Lisers

373 days ago
83.

blahblahmeme    

Typical.

373 days ago
84.

_DNP    

Ahhhh. Can I sue to for 25 mill....... I'd be set for life.

373 days ago
85.

tomas    

My *****'s*, you sucked, despite being black!

*This term usage is approved by Rachel Genital.

373 days ago
86.

hbk72777    

Blacks suing? How novel

373 days ago
87.

Greatnews    

seems like their ain't much support here for them. ya'll get ready-------this is just the begining!!
how come alex baldwin can make a slur against gays and nothing happens, but paula dean is cruxified????
just wondering.

373 days ago
88.

Josh    

Yes because no black person has ever won American Idol. You didn't win because you can't sing and America doesn't like you, not because of the color of your skin. SMH

373 days ago
89.

Nikki    

too bad each American Idol contestant has to sign a waiver that explicitly states you can't sue the show for any reason if you lose. I guess they didn't read it.

373 days ago
90.

Bagheera    

$25 million a piece? That's more than what Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, and Jordin Sparks earned through Idol and related Idol ventures combined. 1/4 of all Idol Winners are black. The remaining 3/4s are White. They might have a legitimate argument if they all were Asian or Latin.
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Winners are either White or Black. They are arguing that they didn't get a fair shake because they are black. Something doesn't smell right here.

373 days ago
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