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‘American Idol’ Is the Target of a Class Action Lawsuit

Ryan Seacrest, Lionel Richie, Katy Perry, and Luke Bryan on ABC's American Idol season 5Eric McCandless/ABC via Getty Images

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American Idol is reportedly facing a class action lawsuit filed by former employees and contestants who appeared on the show and claim to have been either unpaid or underpaid for their contributions. The suit mentions one memorable moment from Season 20 of the show.

American Idol Facing Class Action Lawsuit

The Blast has reportedly obtained court documents pertaining to the lawsuit, explaining that the Plaintiff is bringing the suit against American Idol on the behalf of both herself and others who are described as “Class Members” and “Aggrieved Employees.”

These individuals claim to have been unpaid or underpaid for their contributions to non-scripted content for American Idol, including performing and singing, in the state of California during a specific period. According to The Blast, the lawsuit claims that the show “illegally and willfully classified them as uncompensated volunteers and not as employees.”

The suit also claims that the show controlled Class Members’ schedules, as well as where they slept and when they could eat. The show allegedly told them they couldn’t eat while they had the potential to be filmed, because “eating doesn’t look good on camera.”

The Plaintiff also reportedly claims that the show had Class Members working “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.”



The Lawsuit Mentions Normandy’s Carrot Purse

According to The Blast, the lawsuit mentions one specific incident in which a contestant was told to drive home to retrieve a carrot-shaped purse so she could show it to the judges. The contestant was allegedly never reimbursed for mileage or other expenses.

Anyone who watched Season 20 of American Idol probably remembers a contestant named Normandy, who wore a carrot-shaped purse during her audition. She shocked the judges when they heard the contrast between her high-pitched speaking voice and deep singing voice.

The lawsuit also reportedly claims that some Class Members who might not have made it past the audition round had to “purchase or provide additional business-related resources or services without reimbursement.”

The Plaintiff is reportedly looking for financial compensation for Class Members and Aggrieved Employees, including unpaid overtime, unpaid wages, attorney fees, and more.

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