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'American Idol' racism lawsuit has former contestants alleging discrimination

From left, Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj, Randy Jackson

From left, Keith Urban, Nicki Minaj, Randy Jackson and Mariah Carey from the singing competition series, "American Idol." Photo Credit: AP

An attorney for 10 black former "American Idol" contestants has filed a lawsuit alleging show producers subjected them to public humiliation based on race.

Attorney James H. Freeman confirmed to Newsday that the lawsuit has been filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

The plaintiffs are Jaered Andrews, Corey Clark and Jacob John Smalley (season 2); Donnie Williams (season 3); brothers Terrell and Derrell Brittenum (season 5); Thomas Daniels and Akron Watson (season 6); Ju'Not Joyner (season 8); and Chris Golightly (season 9. Only Clark, Smalley and Joyner advanced to "Idol's" voting rounds.

Each seeks $25 million in damages for "cruel and inhumane" spotlighting of these black contestants' arrest records, and depicting them as "violent criminals, liars and sexual deviants" despite none having been convicted. The suit claims Caucasian contestants' arrest records were not similarly investigated.

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