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American Idol 2014 Judges, Winners, Auditions: Reality Show Fights Discrimination Lawsuit Ahead of Season 13 Premiere

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First Posted: Nov 27, 2013 11:23 AM EST
rickey minor
Rickey Minor was recently announced as season 13's musical director. (Photo : Rickey Minor/Facebook)

"American Idol" is denying claims that is a "rigged show" guilty of racial discrimination.

On July 10, ten former "American Idol" contestants sued the popular reality singing competition show. The 429-page complaint accuses the show of violating civil rights laws, crafting irresponsible release forms and background checks and being rigged. The complaint's biggest problem is with "Idol's" representation of black people, which it claims is oppressively minimal.

On Monday, Fremantle Media, Fox Broadcasting, Nigel Lythgoe, former "Idol" executive producer, and various corporate sponsors filed a motion to dismiss the case, hoping the case would never see a jury.

"By their own allegations, from the show's inception, approximately one-third of the 'Golden Ticket' winners (who advance beyond the open auditions and travel to Hollywood), have been African American," the motion to dismiss says . "Plaintiffs also allege that approximately one-third of 'American Idol's' semi-finalists have been African American. During the show's twelve seasons, four of the winners have been African-American. African-Americans thus have participated in key stages of the contest at more than double their proportion of the country's population."

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According to the motion, some of the plaintiffs, such as former contestants Jaered Andrews, Corey Clark and Chris Golightly, were on the show too long ago for a trial to be just.

"The ten plaintiffs in this lawsuit are former 'American Idol' contestants who were eliminated from the show, either by public vote or through disqualification, as long as ten years ago," the motion states. "Long after the statutes of limitations have expired for all but one plaintiff..."

The defendants stand by their show and its rights.

"As an expressive work, 'American Idol' is entitled to the First Amendment's full protection," the dismissal said.

 "American Idol" premieres on Jan. 15 and Jan. 16 with two-hour-long episodes at 8 p.m. on Fox.

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