Ex-Idol Hopefuls to Feds: Show Is Racist
Contestants seek equal-opportunity investigation: lawyer
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jan 26, 2013 5:14 PM CST
Ryan Seacrest attends the "American Idol" premiere event at UCLA, Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2013, in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision/AP)

(Newser) – Nine former American Idol contestants say race was a factor in their exits from the show—and they're asking federal officials to investigate. Hopefuls ranging from the second season's Corey Clark to the ninth season's Chris Golightly are involved in the request. They say the show highlighted black would-be idols who had criminal records; producers hoped for a ratings boost as those records went public.

"As of now it is not a lawsuit; it is just a request to the federal government that they investigate," their lawyer tells E! Online. The site points to Clark's story: He was booted following word he'd been arrested for alleged assault. Jermaine Jones was kicked off last year when producers reportedly discovered he'd been lying about a criminal record.