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10 Black Former Contestants Sue ‘American Idol,’ Allege Racism

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Idol Winner Candice Glover
'American Idol' Season 12 Winner Candice Glover
Photo Credit: Getty Images

Ten Black former contestants of America Idol have filed a lawsuit against the show and FOX, claiming racism.

The lawsuit claims that the contestants were booted off the show because of their race and alleges that 'Idol' producers treat Black contestants who make it to the Hollywood round and beyond differently than contestants of any other race.

Nine of the 10 contestants, whoa are all men, were booted from the show for reasons stemming from information revealed in a background check – some criminal.

James H. Freeman, who is the attorney representing the plaintiffs, claims that the show used the contestants' history to make them look like “violent criminals, liars and sexual deviants” and adds that none of the plaintiffs were ever convicted of the charges they were arrested for. The lawsuit, which is a whopping 429 pages, also alleges that only Black contestants have been publicly disqualified from the popular reality show after being grilled about their criminal pasts.

Freeman, who began investigating the show in March 2012 when contestant Jermaine Jones was booted for not disclosing information about past arrests, believes that producers asking contestants, "Have you ever been arrested?" is a violation of the California employment law, reports TV Guide.

The plaintiffs seek $25 million in damages each.

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