‘American Idol’ Producers Slam Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

Eriq Gardner, Hollywood Reporter, November 26, 2013

In July, 10 former contestants on American Idol sued over alleged discrimination on the long-running reality singing competition show. The complaint filed in New York federal court came in at a whopping 429 pages and dealt with such diverse topics as civil rights laws, unconscionable release forms, criminal background checks and a supposedly rigged TV contest. But at its heart, the lawsuit aimed to show that by disqualifying many African-American contestants through the years, the popular TV show was oppressive.

On Monday, the defendants in the case including FremantleMedia, Fox Broadcasting, former executive producer Nigel Lythgoe and various corporate sponsors at long last responded in depth to the charges. In a motion to dismiss (read in full here), they raise various arguments why a judge should toss the case before it ever gets heard before a jury.

But before going into those legal arguments, the defendants’ lawyers take an opportunity to present a quick statistical case why alleged racism on American Idol can’t, to use their words, “be reconciled with reality.”

“By their own allegations, from the show’s inception, approximately one-third of the ‘Golden Ticket’ winners (who advance beyond the open auditions and travel to Hollywood), have been African American,” says the motion to dismiss, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter. “Plaintiffs also allege that approximately one-third of American Idol‘s semi-finalists have been African American. During the show’s twelve seasons, four of the winners have been African-American. African-Americans thus have participated in key stages of the contest at more than double their proportion of the country’s population.”

Of course, as we originally pointed out when the lawsuit was filed, the plaintiffs aren’t so concerned with successful outcomes, but rather the disqualifications, or unsuccessful outcomes. The ex-contestants including Jaered Andrews, Corey Clark and Chris Golightly contend that the producers unfairly exploited criminal “rap sheets” with thin evidence about their crimes and to their own advantage, precluded them from having a fair shot at being victorious on American Idol.

No matter, say the defendants. The clock has already ticked to midnight on any possible claims.

“The ten plaintiffs in this lawsuit are former American Idol contestants who were eliminated from the show, either by public vote or through disqualification, as long as ten years ago,” they say. “Long after the statutes of limitations have expired for all but one plaintiff, they now ask the Court to revisit their eliminations.”


If the suing ex-contestants insist upon terming Idol scripted “dramatic fiction,” the defendants see that allegation to their own advantage. A ruling last year that dismissed a racial discrimination lawsuit against The Bachelor is cited as preventing an attempt at injunctive relief over who gets to participate on a reality show. This Idol lawsuit arguably goes further. A judge is told, “In fact, plaintiffs go so far as to seek injunctive relief to prevent defendants from making certain decisions about how to portray contestants, which contestants to disqualify, and how to depict any disqualifications.”


Topics: ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • dd121

    They couldn’t win the singing contest so they now want to win the ghetto lottery.

    • bilderbuster

      It looks like Blacks are over represented on this silly mind numbing show to me.

    • Katherine McChesney

      Consider the fact that none of them have great talent for anything other than criminal behavior. Singing rap and hip hop doesn’t display any talent at all.

  • Luca

    Facts, figures, statistics and logic are like Kryptonite to liberals and tend to only confuse negros. It has come to pass that negros expect prizes and gifts at will, especially in the Liberal-rich environment of entertainment and Hollywood.

    Clearly, if they don’t win it becomes empirical evidence (in their minds) that racism and White privilege are the only possible explanations. Even more confounding to them is when their enablers don’t actually back up their claims.

    • NeanderthalDNA

      “Even more confounding to them is when their enablers don’t actually back up their claims.”

      They are like children. They expect to be rewarded for the most ho-hum mediocrity imaginable and Lord knows patronizingly worshipful liblefty Whites spare no opportunity to encourage them.

      Ever had to sit through a “step show” at a pep rally? Sure, give ’em some Phd’s in stompin’, clappin’ and dry humping the floor…

      • Alexandra1973

        “I never been to jail!”

        “What–you want a cookie!?”

        I actually liked that Chris Rock act….

        • NeanderthalDNA

          I also like the Chris Rock scene where he asks how much one rib cost, goes into this long idiotic negotiation with the rib shack owners, finds out how much one rib would cost…then reaches into his pocket…

          “You got change for a hundred dollar bill?”

    • FransSusan

      So many of them have low IQs, and this is clearly an obvious example of that.

  • Manaphy

    For the record, I looked at some pictures of these “plaintiffs” and I can’t say that I saw any future Idols.

  • Speaking of blacks and AI, Fantasia Barrino’s house is being foreclosed.

    Now, is it possible that AI is behind the scenes trying to keep certain kinds of black women from advancing too far in the competition, as they’re ratings lead anchors? Yes. The types they fear are probably these sassy off-putting Sharkeisha types and the morbidly obese types.

  • DaveMed


    Look, Shaniqua, maybe the public just doesn’t want to hear your yodeling of Rihanna’s latest hit.

    • sbuffalonative

      Blacks don’t yodel. They mangle.

      • DaveMed

        Hmmm, I think both terms are appropriate when one is selected to “perform” the national anthem.

        Consistently classless and painful.

        • Katherine McChesney

          Why on earth do they use these vocal gymnastics? There’s nothing talented about mangling every song they sing. They destroy everything by putting their ‘spin’ on it. Can you imagine how they sing hymns in church? It’s performance but it isn’t art.

  • Spartacus

    We have several versions of this in Romania. I don’t watch any of them.

    • NeanderthalDNA

      Continue to not watch them. They rot your brain and serve no real purpose but to spread degenerate American Africanized subculture to the masses. Simplistic, beat driven warbling for the lowest common denominator.

    • Alexandra1973

      I make it a point not to watch it.

      Of course when you don’t have cable or satellite, it’s really easy.

      The world is going to hell in a handbasket, but as long as you can watch this tripe, it’s all good….

  • TheCogitator

    Only liberals and those with negro brains could possibly buy into this nonsense.

    • sbuffalonative

      This is another example of the scorpion stinging the turtle.

      The only color the producers see is green. If a black man could make them millions of dollars, they could care less that he’s black.

      But blacks have their own agenda which is fueled by inflated egos. If they precieve a slight, they will strike out.

      The color-blind producers are likey baffled by these turn of events. They ignore the reality of race and black motives at their own risk.

    • The Final Solution

      Your comment reminded me of a line from the Rum Diaries – “A liberal is nothing but a communist with negro thoughts”

  • dave

    It makes me sick to see how the whites kiss up to these savages.

  • Paul

    Any court that determines that blacks were discriminated against because of criminal history is admitting blacks commit more crime. And courts can’t admit blacks commit more crime. Because that’s racist.

    • sbuffalonative

      My prediction is the court will let this proceed. Blacks will either win or settle out of court. This is black extortion and the producers will pay just to get rid of them.

  • dave

    thats affirmative action american idol.

  • OhWow

    Lol…we need to give black criminals more tolerance? Really? What do these people drink?

    • IstvanIN


      • sbuffalonative

        In my neighborhood, it’s a 40. (Which blacks believe has something extra added to it to make them act all crazy and violent.

      • NeanderthalDNA

        Pass the word…

      • Katherine McChesney

        Mad Dog 40.

  • “TRUE racism, and facing reality, would have these thugs in their own
    schools, their own sports leagues, their own restricted neighborhoods,
    and any jobs they obtained would be strictly according to their
    intelligence and ability.”


    I grew up in NYC. When I was a kid (I’m 70) I would not have understood or accepted what you wrote. Today, after 35 years in Colorado, the real purpose of the Jim Crow laws is obvious to me and I would welcome their return.

    • Sick of it

      Jim Crow won’t cut it for anyone at this point. No matter the viewpoint. Things have gone too far.

    • FransSusan

      You’re right; it’s so plain to see why segregation existed for a hundred years! It’s cruel and unusual punishment that we productive, white citizens are forced by a corrupt government to live amongst these third world, low I. Q. beings.

      • As I have come to realize, the Jim Crow laws existed not to punish blacks but to protect whites and white society.

        • ms_anthro

          And to protect blacks as well. They were better able to resist their criminal impulses when they were kept under tight control by the rest of society and by our laws. Now we give them free reign and endless unfair advantages that we don’t give to any other people, and they react much the same way that mentally retarded children would react upon being set loose in a candy store.

          They aren’t us and we can’t hold them to the same standards. By that same logic, we can’t grant them equal position in our societies. But there’s no closing the Pandora’s Box of “civil rights” poison that they’ve been marinating in since the 1960’s, so separation is the only humane answer left.

  • “This is the way blacks operate around the world.”


    Gypsies, too.

    • Sick of it

      Non-Eskimos tend to have that viewpoint.

  • IstvanIN

    Sexy, attractive, talented and classy. Rhonetta gots it all.

  • sbuffalonative

    Trying to counter blacks perceptions with facts is a futile exercise. Damn the facts. They KNOW they were discriminated against.

  • Is the website “Vote for the Worst” still alive?

    One could argue it kept blacks in the contest …..
    Gotta hit that high note ….

  • sbuffalonative

    Singer, sports legend, rap ‘artist’, genius. They only thing keeping them from greatness is the white man’s racism.

  • DaveMed

    I love when she exclaims, “With you!” to the black guy, and he’s like – really?

  • sbuffalonative

    Funny, the hair seems wrong to me.
    Whites can’t wear cornrows because it’s their culture but blacks can be blonds.

  • NeanderthalDNA

    Hey all I can see is blackness. Oh wait, there’s the picture. Hey, all I can see is blackness…

  • KingKenton

    I’d get behind any lawsuit which throws a monkey wrench into the media matrix. Regardless if the plaintiffs are right / wrong, or black / brown / yellow / white. I doubt very seriously the plaintiffs will win this case, but I’ll laugh my arse off if they do. I delight in seeing White Liberals turned on by the Colored people they adore (or at least tell >us< to adore). The enemy of my enemy is my ally.

  • The Final Solution

    How can it be raciss if one of the judges is black and the other is Paula Abdul? pfff.

  • The Final Solution

    None of it is as good as Vader vs. Adolf

    • Katherine McChesney

      obama’s inner voice.

  • me

    Hahahahaha! Whew!

    • Katherine McChesney

      Hahahahahaha *snort*.

  • me

    TNB. BTW, what’s with the blonde hair? Surely she doesn’t think that looks normal? And flashing her nether regions in that white mini? Classy! Even if she could carry a tune in a bucket, she should have been disqualified for looking like a ‘professional lady’ walking down Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. The self delusion is so strong in the Bantu that to disagree with them about how ‘wonderful’ they are is certainly ‘raaycis’ in their eyes. Just like spoiled brat children that need a good dose of reality…

  • Dr. Möbias

    Lefties fighting lefties. About time they turned on each other. Stand back, laugh and enjoy and let ’em destroy each other.

  • odious liberal

    If you watch garbage like this you are part of the problem.

  • RHG

    Just blacks whining again that under the guise of “diversity” they aren’t being allowed to takeover the whole show. This is what blacks do best, they can’t create anything, so they just sit back and when something becomes popular they start making demands about not be “represented” and they get their toe in the door and then they expand their power to the point so called “diversity” goes out the window and predominately black music and culture are overrepresented and dominate. We saw this with MTV, you don’t see any white male rock on there anymore and check out the TV show “Family Feud” now that black comedian Steve Harvey is the host, you would think blacks represent half the population of America instead of 13 percent judging by the contestants. If anything there might be a case for “age discrimination” as I think American Idol wont take anyone over 28 yrs of age.

  • dd121

    Is this groid a part of the lawsuit? If so, I don’t think the defendants have much to worry about.

  • Katherine McChesney


  • John K

    Maybe they were dismissed because they simply suck; I guess they never considered that. They tried suing the symphonies, too, because there weren’t any blacks performing, and said they were racist. In fact, symphony judges do not even see the person who is trying out for the spot. They are hidden from the judges view. The judge decides strictly based on what he hears, which proves that blacks suck at music. Better stick to the bongo drums and grunts.

    • John K

      Correction: the judge decides on what he HEARS.