AMERICAN IDOL / LIONEL RICHIE, KATY PERRY, RYAN SEACREST, LUKE BRYAN / GETTY
*“American Idol” is facing a class action lawsuit filed by former staffers and show contestants.
The Blast obtained the court documents filed by the Plaintiff against “American Idol” on behalf of herself, “Class Members” and Aggrieved Employees”. According to the complaint, the employees were unpaid or underpaid for their contributions to the non-scripted show. The lawsuit claims that the production company behind the music competition show “illegally and willfully classified them as uncompensated volunteers and not as employees.”
The lawsuit also alleges that Class Members had strict a schedule — one that controlled where they slept and when they could eat. The contestants were allegedly told, “eating doesn’t look good on camera,” according to the Plaintiff.
The lawsuit claims Class Members worked “14 hours per day or more, for up to eight days in a row, while refusing to pay them at all, for any of this work performed.”
An illuminated American Idol sign is displayed during the American Idol Live! 2018 tour at the Orleans Arena on July 29, 2018, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images)
The Plaintiff refers to a Season 20 contestant named Normandy who wore a carrot-shaped purse during her audition. According to the lawsuit, she was told to drive home to retrieve the purse and show it to the judges. Normandy was allegedly never reimbursed for mileage or other expenses.
Aretha Franklin’s Granddaughter Grace Franklin on American Idol/screenshot
Normandy wasn’t the only contestant who had to “purchase or provide additional business-related resources or services without reimbursement,” according to the lawsuit.
The lawsuit is reportedly seeking financial compensation, including unpaid overtime, unpaid wages, attorney fees, and more.