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Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group won a significant legal victory in federal court in their lawsuit against the McDonald’s Corporation.
Allen Media is seeking $10 billion in damages for racial discrimination.
The lawsuit alleges McDonald’s intentionally discriminated against AMG divisions Entertainment Studios and Weather Group through a pattern of racial stereotyping and refusals to contract in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, 42 U.S.C. § 1981, and the California Aruh Civil Rights Act, Cal. Civil Code § 51.5.
The fast-food chain spends approximately $1.6 billion on annual television advertising. However, McDonald’s spends less than $5 million each year on African American-owned media.
Allen owns and operates 12 high-definition television networks over 60 multi-channel video programming distributors carry. Networks include Comcast, AT&T U-Verse, Charter/Spectrum, DISH Network, DirecTV, AT&T Now, and Verizon FIOS. McDonald’s allegedly refused to advertise on Entertainment Studios networks or The Weather Channel since Allen acquired the network in 2018.
McDonald’s denies the allegations and filed a motion to have the lawsuit thrown out of court, but a judge recently rejected the motion.
“This is about economic inclusion of African American-owned businesses in the U.S. economy. McDonald’s takes billions from African American consumers and gives almost nothing back. The biggest trade deficit in America is the trade deficit between White corporate America and Black America, and McDonald’s is guilty of perpetuating this disparity. The economic exclusion must stop immediately,” Allen said in a statement.
“McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski got caught sending racist text messages and McDonald’s has been sued by the Black franchisees, the Black executives, the Black employees, the Black vendors, and 52 percent of the McDonald’s stockholders recently voted to hire a third-party firm to investigate McDonald’s for civil rights violations. This is historic!!! The overt and systemic racism at McDonald’s is undeniable and indefensible. McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski, McDonald’s Chief Marketing Officer Morgan Flatley, and the Board of Directors must be fired.”
The case will now proceed to trial before a jury in May 2023.