Former American Idol Finalist Speak Out Over Racism Claim
The racism claims came from an attorney seeking permission to sue the show on the behalf of nine former contestants who were publicly disqualified, reports TMZ.
Now, three former finalists and one American Idol winner have given their opinions to the site about the allegations of racism.
Season 6 finalist Melinda Doolittle told TMZ, "It is shocking to see such allegations. In my experience on the show, the 'Idol' team strives to champion everyone, regardless of race. However, each contestant is explicitly told that the withholding of information that may compromise the show or artist, can and will result in immediate disqualification."
Season 4 finalist Vonzell Solomon said, "I didn't experience any of that [racial discrimination] ... all of our contracts were clear about how the background checks worked and that we could be disqualified if we lied about our past."
Season 5 winner Taylor Hicks said, "American Idol is for everyone. All walks of life go through the show. Not once did I see the show discriminate towards anyone. It's all about the votes."
Season 10 finalist Casey Abrams adds, "I don't know why they are biting the hand that fed them. Those guys beat thousands of people who wanted to be on TV. Idol is picky, but I'm not sure about racist."
"American Idol" Executive Producer Nigel Lythgoe called the allegations "ridiculous," according to The Daily News. "We treat everybody the same ... no matter the race, religion or sex," he told TMZ. "I think we've always had a fantastic share of talent from contestants both black and white ... I don't think I've ever seen racism at the show."
American Idol has had three black winners: Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino and Jordin Sparks. Read more about the racism allegations here.