McDonald’s faces $10 billion discrimination lawsuit against Byron Allen

FILE PHOTO: Comedian Byron Allen arrives at the 31st Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica

In a ruling Friday, U.S. District Judge Fernando Olguin of Los Angeles ruled that McDonald’s violated federal and California civil rights laws by deeming its networks ineligible for “the vast majority of customers.” Allen said let’s try to prove.

Allen accused McDonald’s of losing tens of millions of dollars “on the African-American scale” with Weather Group LLC, which owns its networks Entertainment Studios Networks Inc and the Weather Channel, with a separate ad agency and a much smaller advertising budget. Annual income.

Without commenting on the merits, Mr. Entertainment Studios, since its inception in 2009, has had a “racist” corporate culture. Mr Olguin cited allegations that Alan Porte repeatedly failed to win a contract from McDonald’s, which was biased.

“Taken together and construed in the light most favorable to plaintiffs, plaintiffs have alleged sufficient facts to support an inference of intentional discrimination,” Olguin wrote.

In a statement Tuesday, McDonald’s attorney Loretta Lynch said the Chicago-based company was treating the case as “income, not race,” and hoped the evidence would show there was no discrimination.

“Plaintiffs’ baseless allegations ignore both McDonald’s legitimate business reasons for not investing more in its chains and the company’s longstanding business relationships with many different partners,” he said.

Allen, in a statement, said, “It’s about the economic inclusion of African-American-owned businesses in the U.S. economy. McDonald’s is taking billions from African-American consumers and returning nothing.”

According to the lawsuit, black people make up 40% of fast-food customers, but McDonald’s spent just 0.3% of its $1.6 billion U.S. advertising budget on black-owned media in 2019.

In May 2021, McDonald’s pledged to increase domestic advertising spending on black-owned media from 2% to 5% by 2024.

Last November, Olguin dismissed an earlier version of Allen’s lawsuit, saying there was no evidence of willful and intentional discrimination against his companies.

The case is Entertainment Studios Networks Inc et al v McDonald’s Corp, US District Court, Middle District of California, No. 21-04972.

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