CHICAGO – Nine Black contestants (all males) from different seasons are joining together to sue Fox’s American Idol for what they are calling a racist plot that forced them out of the show. They claim the plot aimed to boost ratings for the network, and their attorney, James H. Freeman, has already submitted a letter to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

In his letter, Freeman, claims that the “scheme” starts at an early stage of the show when producers ask contestants if they have ever been arrested. He says that such questioning is a violation of California employment law because the contestants are technically applying for “employment”. Freeman also says that the questioning along with arrest records acquired by private investigators were used to humiliate the black contestants on national TV, and to create “destructive stereotypes” about black people.