McDonald’s is facing a $10 billion racial discrimination lawsuit from a media group
McDonald’s is facing a $10 billion racial discrimination lawsuit from a media group

McDonald’s is facing a $10 billion racial discrimination lawsuit from a media group

(CNN) — McDonald’s will have to defend itself against a $10 billion lawsuit from media mogul Byron Allen over an allegation that the fast-food chain does not advertise in black-owned media.

A federal court ruled last week that Allen and his company, Allen Media Group, can try to prove in court that McDonald’s violated civil rights laws.

Allen said in a news release that only a small portion — about $5 million of McDonald’s $1.6 billion annual advertising budget — goes to black-owned media and that the company “refused to advertise’ on its networks, which include the Weather Channel and Comedy. .TV.

He also accuses McDonald’s of relegating its TV networks to an “African-American tier” that has a smaller advertising budget and deprives the channels of millions of dollars in annual revenue.

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“This is about the economic inclusion of African-American-owned businesses in the U.S. economy,” Allen said in the press release. “McDonald’s is taking billions from African-American consumers and giving 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 that disparity.”

In response, McDonald’s lawyer Loretta Lynch, who served as U.S. attorney general during the Obama administration, said the evidence will show the company does not discriminate and that Allen’s claims are “meritless.”

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“Their complaint is about income, not race, and the plaintiffs’ baseless allegations ignore both McDonald’s legitimate business reasons for not investing more in their channels and the company’s long-standing business relationships with many other proprietary partners of various,” said Lynch, who is now in private practice with the Paul Weiss law firm.

The case is due to go to trial in May 2023.

McDonald’s announced earlier this year that it would increase advertising with black-owned businesses from 2 percent to 5 percent by 2024. The company has a troubled history with lawsuits involving race, including in 2021 when it settled a lawsuit filed by the owner a black franchise. who claimed the company directed him to less profitable restaurants in lower-income, predominantly black neighborhoods because of his race.

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“Discrimination does not occur at McDonald’s,” the company said in December 2021. “While we were confident in the strength of our case, this resolution aligns with McDonald’s values ​​and allows us to remain focused on our commitments to the communities we serve . “

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