(American Idol Alleged Racism) – Are the ‘American Idol’ producers racist? According to James H. Freeman, the lawyer representing the nine disqualified ‘American Idol’ contestants, the answer is yes. Before you let the ‘disqualified’ part of the last sentence convince you that this is just a case of bitter-man’s blues, consider this. In the 11 seasons that the show has run, only nine contestants have been disqualified, and of those nine all of them have been black males. In the lawsuit, it’s alleged that the producers not only disqualified the men for former criminal charges (not convictions; none of the disqualified contestants were convicted of anything), but that they used that information to humiliate the men on national TV and ultimately boost ratings.
After learning about the lawsuit, ‘American Idol’ producer Nigel Lythgoe called the allegations ‘ridculous’, saying: “We treat everybody the same … no matter the race, religion or sex. I think we’ve always had a fantastic share of talent from contestants both black and white… I don’t think I’ve ever seen racism at the show.”
If anyone needs a refresher on how diverse the singing competition can be, just recall contestant Sanjaya from season 6. By all accounts, he couldn’t even sing, but he was kept on the show long past his prime and finished out the competition placing 7th overall for the season. Can we play the race card for him too?
Well, his non-singing presence aside; the comparison of nine publicly disqualified contestants, all black males, to Sanjaya is like comparing apples to pomegranates.
To the credit of those named in the lawsuit, it’s pretty hard to believe that with the hundreds of aspiring singers that have auditioned and made it through to Hollywood week, that not one woman or non-black person has been arrested. Again, not convicted of anything; just arrested. If an impromptu poll was conducted on the streets of your neighborhood, you could find at least one women and/or non-black person who has been arrested. So the odds of ‘American Idol’ producers only finding nine people, all black men, to disqualify on the basis of an arrest is a bit suspect.
Couple that with the fact that Freeman alleges that ‘Idol” producers have been conducting a “cruel and inhumane” scheme EVERY season to find, exploit and humiliate black contestants…all in the name of ratings.
That’s right. The attorney for the nine disqualified contestants believes that the there is an undercurrent of racism on set. Freeman has alleged that the annual “shaming” begins early in the contestant cycle, beginning with the background check. During that time, producers ask aspiring contestants if they ‘have ever been arrested?’
That question is a violation of CA employment law, Freeman claims. Because his clients were applying for “employment” (via contract) with ‘American Idol,’ the show was required to follow employment law which bars them from asking contestants about their arrest history.
The ultimate goal of ‘Idol’ producers, according to the attorney, was to humiliate the black Idol contestants on national TV and continue perpetuating “destructive stereotypes” about black people; black men specifically.
There have been three black ‘American Idol’ winners: Fantasia, Ruben Studdard and Jordin Sparks. The outcome of the cast has yet to be decided, but what you do think? Are the ‘American Idol’ producers targeting black men to be disqualified over arrests or are they just sore losers?