McDonald’s Corp was sued Thursday by two companies jointly owned by media entrepreneur Byron Allen for at least $ 10 billion. They claim the fast food chain is guilty of racial discrimination because it does not advertise enough in media owned by blacks.
The complaint filed with the Los Angeles District Supreme Court said McDonald’s violated federal and state civil rights laws in allocating advertising dollars.
According to the complaint, Chicago-based McDonald’s has refused to advertise on Allen’s Entertainment Studios Networks, which owns several lifestyle channels, or its Weather Group, which owns The Weather Channel.
According to the complaint, blacks make up about 40% of McDonald’s customers, but the company spent less than $ 5 million of its $ 1.6 billion U.S. advertising budget on black-owned media in 2019.
“McDonald’s, like a lot of American companies today, publicly promotes its commitment to diversity and inclusion, but this is nothing more than empty rhetoric,” the complaint said. “We have doubled our relationships with partners in varying ownership,” McDonald’s said in a statement. It said it would “consider appropriately and respond to Allen’s complaint”.
In April, General Motors Corp (GM.N) promised to do more advertising with black-owned media after Allen and other business owners ran full-page newspaper ads accusing the automaker of ignoring the media.
Allen, a former stand-up comic and co-host of the NBC reality TV show Real People, sued Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O) in 2015 for refusing to broadcast its channels for US $ 20 billion -Dollar. He settled in June, three months after the US Supreme Court partnered with Comcast to place a heavy burden on everyone to prove he was discriminated against.