FOX Wins American Idol Racism Lawsuit Appeal

The American Idol racism lawsuit is back in the news again, and it looks like FOX has claimed another resounding victory in the dispute. The 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a previous ruling dismissing the charges last November due to lack of evidence and statute of limitations rules.

American Idol Racism Lawsuit

Plaintiffs in the American Idol racism lawsuit against Fox Broadcasting, Freemantle, 19 Entertainment, and executive producer Nigel Lythgoe, claimed they had been unfairly dismissed from the show because of their race. In particular, there were claims that former contestants were unfairly kicked off the show due to their arrest records, when white singers with similar records were not.

In November, U.S. District Judge Naomi Buchwald dismissed the charges in the case because of a lack of evidence from the plaintiffs, and because most of the filings in the case were past the statute of limitations.

Plaintiffs in the case included Jared Andrews, Corey Clark, Jermaine Jones, Jacob Smalley, Donnie Williams, Terrell Brittenum, Derrell Brittenum, Thomas Daniels, Akron Watson, Ju’Not Joynery, and Chris Golightly. Judge Buchwald was especially harsh in the original ruling against the plaintiffs concerning the claims of Chris Golightly, who the judge said had pretty much nothing at all to support his case of American Idol racism.

“Indeed, the complaint does not even allege that defendants were aware of his criminal history,” Buchald said in her court ruling. “Rather, the complaint provides a different, and entirely valid, reason for Golightly’s disqualification: his failure to disclose that he was previously under contract as a member of a music group named Dream5, despite being explicitly asked in the American Idol background questionnaire whether ‘he had ever been party to a music-related industry contract.’”

After two very strong rulings against the American Idol racism lawsuit plaintiffs, we aren’t sure how they can expect to make any further headway in the case. We’ll just have to wait and see if they are willing to put even more time and effort into trying to push it forward past this second solid defeat.