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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
91.

Onward    

Good luck with that, sore losers. You have arrest records, drug use, etc., and it's American Idol's fault that people found out about it? LOL.

371 days ago
92.

Sarah    

Am black and am fed up with some black people always using the race card for everything. Yes somethings are race related but with this its not. If the show was so racist they wouldn't have black or mixed race judging the panel. They are broke and just looking to make easy money by suing for absolute rubbish. This will be thrown out of court!

371 days ago
93.

T    

Um haven't there been 3 - 4 black contestants that won this super racist show ??!! Explain how that works - dont break the law or F__K around if you're planning to be in the spotlight - if you do then man up & accept the consequences that may come from YOUR actions ...

371 days ago
94.

J-Ro    

Oh you gotta be kidding me! Forget the 4 black contestants that WON the show. The producers can't make someone look bad if there aren't things in their past that are true. They don't deserve a dime, this is such a joke.

371 days ago
95.

TNT    

They better hurry and call the biggest racist of them all Al Sharpton. You think maybe Jay-Z and Beyoncé call hold another march for these clowns as well? And people want to know why non-blacks get ticked off when we have to read about such BS about racism in cases where it simply doesn't exist like this one. Get a life you LOSERS.

371 days ago
96.

BLADE-RUNNER    

get a job!!!!!!

371 days ago
97.

Kabala    

Chris Golightly is black????

371 days ago
98.

blackgirlwhiteguy    

Here's an original idea, don't get arrested! Is that really so difficult "bruthas"?

371 days ago
99.

Denver    

Nice timing with the race card. Waaa, the man is so unfair. Give me money.

371 days ago
100.

coreen    

Go get a JOB !!

371 days ago
101.

TMP    

Yeah....no. What is with people these days? I'm half black and I even call BS on this one. You didn't win, so you sue? This isn't the first time I've read about contestants on these stupid reality shows losing and then trying to sue for one reason or another. You can just whip out the race card whenever you think it'll suit you. What happens when someone REALLY is being discriminated against due to their race? No one is going to believe them because of stupid BS like this. Get over yourselves guys. AI HAS dug up dirt on white contestants too and they were also voted out. Then again, if you don't have a criminal background and you DON'T LIE about it, you'd have nothing to worry about in the first place. Rant over.

371 days ago
102.

Kookla    

It's cause you're losers without talent

371 days ago
103.

Joe t. Pico    

Desperate money grab, by some lazy losers

371 days ago
104.

Jamoak    

You all sucked... get over it & get a real job instead of claiming this crap in an attempt to get some easy $$

371 days ago
105.

Sam    

Here's an idea, why don't yall get jobs, instead of scamming your way to a big phat azz cash settlement because of your........skin color?

371 days ago
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