Byron Allen files $10B racial discrimination lawsuit against Obama’s FCC and Charter Communication
Jan 28, 2016 10:14 PM EST
Byron Allen's Entertainment Studios Network and the National Association of African-American Owned Media (NAAAOM) have filed a $10 billion lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Charter Communications for racial discrimination charge.
Allen said in a statement to The Wrap on Wednesday that President Obama and the Democratic Party have completely excluded the African-American community when it comes to economic inclusion.
"Everyone talks about diversity, but diversity in Hollywood and the media starts with ownership," Allen added. He said African Americans don't need handouts and donations. "We can hire ourselves if white corporate America does business with us in a fair and equitable way," he continued.
Allen said in the statement that the suit seeks to stop Charter Communications' 'Jim Crow' policies and collusion with elected officials in order to continue its exclusion of 100 percent African American-owned media.
The lawsuit filed Wednesday in the U.S. District Court in Central District of California says that Charter Communications has violated the Civil Rights Act of 1866, 42 U.S.C. section 1981, by engaging racial discrimination in contracting against Entertainment Studios, the only 100 percent African American-owned video programming producer and multi-channel operator in the U.S.
According to the lawsuit document, the plaintiffs also accuse President Obama's Federal Communications Commission for racial discrimination charge, as it approved mega-media mergers such as Comcast and NBC Universal, that discriminate against African American-owned media.
The complaint says that a driving purpose of the Federal Communications Act and the First Amendment is to ensure the widest possible dissemination of information from diverse sources. "Yet the FCC has done nothing to protect the voices of African-American-owned media companies in the face of increased media consolidation," it adds.
The suit states that Charter Communications spent over $4 billion annually on cable channel carriage fees and advertising, but zero dollars are spent with 100 percent African American-owned media companies.
The lawsuit claims that FCC should never approve the $55 billion Charter Communications' acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks because of this racial discrimination.
President of NAAAOM, Mark DeVitre, said Charter Communications does not do and never have done business with 100 percent African American-owned media. DeVitre said President Obama and the FCC have failed the African American community so miserably and they have forced African American-owned media to the edge of extinction, PR Newswire reported.
The Wednesday lawsuit is the second such suit that Allen and NAAAOM have in the courts against the telecommunications giants. Last year, Allen and NAAAOM filed a $20 billion lawsuit against Comcast and Time Warner Cable.