American Idol season 11 finalist Jermaine Jones has jumped on board a racial discrimination lawsuit filed against the show filed by 10 other former black contestants. The plaintiffs in the suit all claim that American Idol wrongfully disqualified them from the show because of their race.
According to the now 11 former American Idol contestants in the lawsuit, the show unfairly disqualified black contestants for reasons “unrelated to their singing talent.” The lawsuit also claims that the show did not treat white or non-Black contestants the same way.
Former season 11 finalist Jermaine Jones, who was removed from the show after reaching the Top 12, announced this week that he would be joining the American Idol racial discrimination lawsuit. Jermaine was disqualified as a finalist because of undisclosed outstanding warrants.
All American Idol contestants are required to reveal such police records as part of their paperwork to compete on the show. American Idol claims Jermaine failed to do this, and lied about his arrest history. Jermaine was confronted by producers Nigel Lythgoe and Ken Warwick about the issue before he was disqualified from the competition.
Jermaine, who later also tried out for The Voice but failed to make it through, previously mocked the contestants who originally filed the suit, calling their allegations “ludicrious.”
“Some of these cases are over 10 years old,” Jermaine told The Hollywood Reporter two years ago. “What have you been doing since the show that you feel you deserve $25 million?”
Now, however, he has apparently changed his mind big time.
“I was and continue to be appreciative of the opportunity to perform as a Top 10 contestant during Season 11 of ‘American Idol,’ which was once considered the world’s biggest stage for up-and-coming recording artists. And I wanted to believe that my humiliating public disqualification in March 2012 was just part of the show and an experience that could be internalized and ultimately forgotten. But I realize now, with the support of my family and friends, that Equal Rights under the law (or in this case, under contest rules) is something we must always strive for and never take for granted,” Jermaine told ABC News.
“I am therefore honored to join my fellow brethren in their continuing struggle to enforce this Nation’s Civil Rights laws against the powerful forces who discriminated against top-ranking Black American Idols for more than decade.”
A source allegedly told ABC News that Jermaine decided he wanted to join the lawsuit because he “began having nightmares and panic attacks” about what happened back in March of 2012 when he was confronted by the American Idol producers and then thrown off the show.
The other plaintiffs in the American Idol racial discrimination lawsuit include: Corey Clark (season two), Jaered Andrews (season two), Jacob John Smalley (season two), Donnie Williams (season three), Terrell Brittenum (season five), Derrell Brittenum (season five), Thomas Daniels (season six), Akron Watson (season six), Ju’Not Joyner (season eight), and ChrisGolightly (season nine).
Currently, the case is under consideration by a judge on whether it should be dismissed or be allowed to move forward.