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'American Idol' Sued by 10 Black Contestants Alleging Racial Smear Campaign

Tim Kenneally
July 25, 2013

A group of 10 black former "American Idol" contestants have sued the Fox show, claiming that producers dug up their arrest histories to get them thrown off because of their race, according to TMZ.

The contestants say they were unfairly painted as criminals and sexual deviants – despite that none was ever charged with a crime for which they were arrested, according to the report. What's more – they say only blacks were targeted with the smear campaign.

See photos: Meet the 10 Black Contestants Suing 'Idol' for Alleged Racism

Plaintiffs are Jaered Andrews (Season 2); Terrel and Derrell Brittenum (Season 5); Corey Clark (Season 2, pictured); Thomas Daniels (Season 6); Chris Golightly (Season 9); Ju'Not Joyner (Season 8); Jacob John Smalley (Season 2); Akron Watson (Season 6) and Donnie Williams (Season 3).

Fox and "Idol" producers FremantleMedia had no comment on the lawsuit when contacted by TheWrap.

See photos: 'American Idol' and 'Voice' Winners: Who's Broken Out, and Who's Just Broken

Each is suing for $25 million, and the group wants "American Idol" to implement a system to stop the behavior, TMZ reported.

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