Byron Allen, a black media mogul who owns Entertainment Studios Networks Inc. and Weather Group LLC, filed a lawsuit Thursday against McDonald’s, seeking $10 billion in damages for the fast-food chain’s alleged racial discrimination.
“McDonald’s intentionally discriminated against Entertainment Studios and Weather Group through a pattern of racial stereotyping and refusals to contract,” the lawsuit claims.
.@RealByronAllen talks with @ShartiaBrantley about his lawsuit against McDonald’s. “They bring in over $100bn in revenue – a lot of that coming from African American consumers. But out of their $1b advertising budget less than $5M is going to Black-owned media.” #TheBusinessweek pic.twitter.com/FshRao9XwT
— Bloomberg Live (@BloombergLive) May 21, 2021
“As a result of McDonald’s intentional racial discrimination, Plaintiffs are entitled to actual and treble damages in addition to attorneys’ fees and costs, which all together are estimated to exceed $10 billion,” the document read.
The complaint also contrasts McDonald’s ad spending on African American-owned media with the percentage of sales the company makes thanks to the members of the racial group.
“African Americans represent approximately 40% of McDonald’s U.S. sales,” a statement by the Allen Media Group published following the news about the lawsuit reads. “But of its approximately $1.6 billion annual television advertising budget, McDonald’s spends less than approximately $5 million each year on African American-owned media.”
The allegation of the fast-food chain’s refusal to place advertisement on the Black-owned media outlets came the same day McDonald’s announced a plan to increase its national ad spending with Black-owned media from 2% to 5% in the next three years. (RELATED: McDonald’s To Implement Anti-Discrimination Training At All Restaurants After Lawsuits)
This is not Allen’s first lawsuit accusing a major company of racism for refusal to work with his media outlets.
He has sued Comcast for its decision not to air Allen’s cable channels. Comcast eventually settled the matter, which had made its way up to the Supreme Court, by agreeing to carry three of Allen’s seven cable channels, according to The New York Post.
Allen has reportedly teamed up with other Black-owned media owners to pressure automaker GM to advertise on their platforms, The New York Post reported.