When ” American Idol ” starts the 13th season with a new jury panel , the ranks of the new producer , and a lot of new contestants , the show business practices are under scrutiny because of a discrimination lawsuit filed by black ten former contestants continues to court .
The plaintiffs , all of whom were disqualified from the event for six seasons due to various reasons and not related to it sing – including criminal records – recently issued a statement ” right to sue ” through the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ( EEOC ) , allowing as many as 429 page lawsuit they asked in July to continue.
In response, the ” American Idol ” , FOX , and the event production company 19 Entertainment , already replacing Jonathan Sulds employment attorney , representing them before the EEOC , with Daniel Petrocelli , the attorney who successfully sued the OJ trial Simpson Ron Goldman on behalf of the family .
Petrocelli declined to provide comments related to the news.
The lawsuit states that the producers for 10 years has implemented a pattern of racial discrimination stems from the use of historical contestants arrest black men to oppose them . The lawsuit indicates that 31 percent of all the semi-finalists of “American Idol ” is a black man who was disqualified for reasons “unrelated to their singing talent . ” In addition , the lawsuit also added that , for ten years , ” no white contestants ( or nonkulit black ) who was disqualified from ” American Idol ” – never .
” American Idol ” Have a Double Standard ?
FOX and the producers of the show denied any discrimination , indicates that 33 percent , or four of the 12 previous winners , including last year’s winner is the contestant Candice Glover black or derived from the two races .
In their response to the EEOC obtained by ABC News in May , the producers of ” Idol ” said that there was no evidence that the ” disqualification of a particular person ( the plaintiff ) has to do with their race . ”
However , the plaintiffs successfully overcome the first obstacle – all complaints of discrimination by EEOC employees must advance – to follow up on their cases . Because more than five months have passed since the plaintiffs first filed suit in January of discrimination with the EEOC , the government commission issued an automatic right to sue , thus allowing the plaintiffs to bring lawsuits to court .
To prove that the ” Idol ” embrace the practice of discrimination against the young man once asked about the history of their arrest , the plaintiff must first prove that they are employees of the show, because it asked about previous arrests to applicants and prospective applicants – rather than on punishment – a violation of California law .
” American Idol ” has repeatedly denied that the plaintiff was an employee of the show .
In response to the EEOC in May , the producer stated that the plaintiff ” is a contestant on the singing competition show , and is not an employee under Title VII . ” ( Chapter VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 protects individuals for employment discrimination based on race and color, as well as national origin , sex , and religion . )
ABC News get a document from one of the plaintiffs , Corey Clark , who claimed to be ” employees ” , and said that he was paid in accordance with the union contract with the event TV .
Among several documents signed by Clark , the only one of the ten plaintiffs who made it into the round of top ten finalists , is the employee eligibility verification document I- 9 , employment agreements memo that lists him as the lead singer and part of the American Idol Productions , Inc. . , ” Production Personnel Deal Memo ” which constantly Clark stated as ” employees ” .
Clark also signed a contract with AFTRA , the union performers on the TV show . The contestants were asked to join the union if they have reached 10 or 12 large – the facts published by the union in 2007 . Clark refers to the contract , his salary every appearances range from U.S. $ 648 – U.S. $ 1,251 ( about Rp 7 , 2 million – Rp13 , 9 million ) .
Clark was disqualified from the event in his second season with the nine remaining contestants because the producers said that he was less than honest about the arrest in a case involving the beating before her sister and the police . According to his lawyer , Clark is already disclose the arrest to the producers when rounds in Hollywood . Two of the charges are then canceled and Clark appealed the violations of the law by obstructing the prosecution.
In addition to the lawsuit due to discrimination , Clark also filed a separate defamation lawsuit in January against Fox , E ! Entertainment , and several other parties over their comments which he said was related to his departure from the talent show as well as a number of comments related to the claim that he had an affair with former judge Paula Abdul .
Clark ( 33 ) thrash about their relationship at length in an interview in 2005 for the ABC News program , the ” Prime Live ” . He said initially the relationship between herself when she was 22 years old and is a former judge at the age of 40 years did not involve sexual intercourse . In a statement to ABC News at the time, Abdul said he was ” not going to respond to false statements posed by Corey Clark responded . ”
Clark job status is essential article if it is considered as an employee , then ” all other plaintiffs in the case law is , at least , job applicants who are being considered for the job position ‘ main contestants ‘ finalist ‘American Idol ‘ , ” and therefore be protected by the U.S. Constitution Chapter VII , the plaintiff ‘s attorney said in June in response to the EEOC .
Their lawyer claimed the program ” is not properly cover the actual legal status of the contestants ” by asking them to sign a ” Contestant Agreement ” ( Agreement contestants ) during the audition that expressly state that they are not regarded as employees or independent contractors of the program . Instead , the contestants only considered a ” volunteer ” and / or ” license owner ” of names and their popularity .
With regard to the plaintiff only as a ” volunteer ” or ” license owner ” rather than as an employee , their lawyers argued , ” Idol ” has been ” trying to avoid taxation law state and federal United States applicable to employees , as well as a few other things ” and ” avoid legal barriers related to hiring , treatment of employees in the workplace , and termination of employment . ”
All plaintiffs who successfully passed the initial audition and got the ” golden ticket ” to Hollywood and then asked to disclose their criminal records and background they were traced , according to a lawsuit that they pose . Plaintiff who refused to sign the agreement one point threatened to be thrown out of the event , according to the lawsuit .
The plaintiffs argue that any negative findings then illegally disseminated to the media and used by the show’s producers to embarrass them in ” a very open forum ” at the event .
The plaintiff then said that the event ” to implement a systematic practice to humiliate the contestants were black through the pre – draft disqualification based on criminal records , but at the same time benefit the white contestants that his criminal history is much more grim . ”
The show’s producers argued that they use a background search to ensure that the contestant who has the possibility of becoming a finalist is not tangled case law which may be ” twisted ” or ” embarrass ” the event . In response to the EEOC , the producers say their biggest concern related to criminal records is one of the contestants the contestants absence due to legal issues .
The responses also indicate that the 31 contestants of the African Americans who have a criminal record and was never allowed to be qualified to participate in the event .
The issue of whether they are employees are not the only dispute is disputed by the plaintiffs in their lawsuit . They also have to prove that the discrimination cases occur within 300 days before the lawsuit was filed .
The producer also claimed that the allegations occurred much earlier than the limit of 300 days before the lawsuit was filed . The plaintiffs respond that there is a ” pattern and practice ” of discrimination that occurred recently when Jermaine Jones was disqualified during the arrest warrant related to a series – 11 talent is . They say the case of disqualification of Jones in March 2012 in a period of 300 days of filing of the first petition with the EEOC in January 2013 .
Jones was not joined as a plaintiff in the lawsuit , and denied the plaintiff’s allegations by calling it ” ridiculous . ”
Frenchie Davis , who is not one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit , but a semi – finalist on the second series until he was disqualified for topless photographs were photographed at the beginning of his career , wrote on his Facebook page after news spread about the lawsuit , ” American Idol WILL NOT disqualify ME IF MY WHITE PEOPLE . POINT . I do not care how many black winner in the event . “