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Is “American Idol” racist?

A lawsuit filed by nine former American Idol contestants -- Corey Clark, Jaered Andrews, Donnie Williams, Terrell Brittenum, Derrell Brittenum, Thomas Daniels, Akron Watson, Ju'Not Joyner and Chris Golightly --  alleges the singing competition booted them as part of a racist plot to boost ratings.

Attorney James H. Freeman believes his clients were tricked into revealing that they had arrest records in a cheap ploy to hook viewers and build buzz for the show. Freeman alleges that in addition to asking his clients about their arrest history -- a violation of California's employment law -- "Idol" producers used private investigators to dig up dirt on their pasts. After "Idol" revealed, on air, that these men had arrest records -- but no convictions, it's worth noting -- the show used it as an excuse to kick each of them off the show through disqualification.

Freeman also says that it is no coincidence that his clients, the only to be disqualified in the history of the show, were all black.

The New York-based attorney began his investigation when Jermaine Jones was kicked off on March 15, 2012 after producers claimed Jones failed to inform them about multiple outstanding warrants out for his arrest.

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