'American Idol' Racism Lawsuit Is 'Ludicrous,' Says Jermaine Jones

Friday, 26 Jul 2013 09:33 AM

By Alexandra Ward

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"American Idol" alumnus Jermaine Jones said the allegations against the competitive singing reality show that producers plotted to kick African Americans off the program are "ludicrous."

Jones, who was famously disqualified in Season 11 after producers found out he had an outstanding warrant, was not included in the lawsuit filed by 10 former "American Idol" contestants this month, though he said he was approached.

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TMZ first reported the former contestants involved in the lawsuit: 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 accuse "American Idol" and producers of running a "cruel and inhumane scheme" to humiliate them on national television by digging up old arrest records for the purpose of boosting the show's ratings.

James H. Freeman, who's representing the men, claims that "American Idol" perpetuated racial stereotypes and painted his clients as "violent criminals, liars, and sexual deviants" by bringing up old arrest records that, many times, didn’t even lead to convictions. What's more, only black contestants were targeted, Freeman argues.

Each plaintiff is seeking a $25 million payout.

Jones, however, thinks the lawsuit is ridiculous.

"I think they are going a little overboard," the 26-year-old New Jersey native told The Hollywood Reporter. "Some of these cases are over 10 years old. What have you been doing since the show that you feel you deserve $25 million?"

The discrimination lawsuit also demands that "American Idol" adopt new anti-racism policies to prevent similar situations from happening in the future.

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