American Idol 2013 'Racism' Lawsuit Update: 9 Rejects 'highly unlikely' to win - California lawyer [VIDEOS]
By Arlene Paredes | February 6, 2013 11:43 AM EST
'American Idol racism' does sound odd to many viewers of the show who know all the champions in the show's history. Yet a report has surfaced on a lawsuit being prepared against the Fox singing competition. A California legal analyst believes the contestants suing the show are "highly unlikely to win" the case if it does move forward at all.
"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," American Idol boss Nigel Lythgoe told reporters. He was responding to questions raised after TMZ broke the story on the purportedly impending lawsuit.
TMZ was the first to report about New York attorney James Freeman, who filed a letter with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to begin the lawsuit process against 'Idol' producers. He sought permission to sue on behalf of his nine clients - all former 'Idol' contestants who were eliminated early from the competition.
Freeman reportedly claimed American Idol violated California employment laws which prohibit management from asking prospective employees about their arrest history. But this premise is "far-fetched" and "misplaced" according to a California-based lawyer.
"The California Fair Employment and Housing Act and Title VII, which prohibit racial discrimination in employment, simply do not apply because it will be hard to prove that these individuals were employees," lawyer Anahita Sedaghatfar told FOX411 in an interview.
It appears Freeman himself reached out to the former contestants. TMZ said Freeman had looked into AI's history after Jermaine Jones was axed during live rounds last year. The producers taped their talks with Jones who apparently had some trouble with the law, with an outstanding warrant for his arrest.
These are the men of African-American descent in Freeman's proposed 'workplace racism' lawsuit against American Idol: Corey Clark, Jaered Andrews, Donnie Williams, Terrell Brittenum and Derrell Brittenum (brothers),Thomas Daniels, Akron Watson, Ju'Not Joyner and Chris Golightly. It is not clear whether Jermaine Jones was approached by Freeman.
Scroll down to watch the videos of two of these former contestants: Corey Clark and Thomas Daniels. The Smoking Gun had revealed he Clark had been arrested and charged with misdemeanor battery on four police officers and his sister. In the process, he allegedly endangered the welfare of a child. Daniels, meanwhile, had criminal history, which included charges of drunk driving, according to Fox News.
VIDEO 1: Thomas Daniels' Audition on American Idol Season 6
VIDEO 2: Corey Clark in American Idol Season 4
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