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McDonald’s faces $10B racial discrimination lawsuit

A media company claims McDonald’s refuses to advertise with their Black-owned media company

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A McDonald’s sign is seen above the fast food restaurant on Monday, Nov. 25, 2019, near downtown Los Angeles.

Richard Vogel, AP Photo

McDonald’s is being sued for $10 billion by a media company for allegations of “racial stereotyping” by not advertising with Black-owned media companies, according to a press release from Allen Media Group, the company suing the fast food chain.

The news: On Sept. 19, U.S. District Judge Fernando Olguin from Los Angeles ruled that Byron Allen — of Allen Media Group — could attempt to prove that McDonald’s has violated Californian civil rights laws by refusing to use his networks for advertising.

  • The judge concluded that Allen has reasonable evidence to prove his claims, and will allow him to continue pursuing the lawsuit.
  • Allen claims that McDonald’s has placed his studio into an “African-American tier” with a separate ad agency that uses a smaller budget, per Reuters.

McDonald’s response: Loretta Lynch, the fast-food chain’s lawyer, states that Allen doesn’t have the evidence to prove these claims, according to CNN.

  • “Their complaint is about revenue, not race, and plaintiffs’ groundless allegations ignore both McDonald’s legitimate business reasons for not investing more on their channels and the company’s long-standing business relationships with many other diverse-owned partners,” Lynch said.

Details: In a statement, Allen claims that 40% of fast food customers are Black, however, McDonald’s spent 0.3% of its $1.6 billion advertising budget on Black-owned media in 2019.

  • Allen says that the case is “about economic inclusion of African American-owned businesses in the U.S. economy. McDonald’s takes billions from African American consumers and gives almost nothing back.”

About Allen Media Group: Based out of Los Angeles, Allen Media Group owns 10 television networks, including the Weather Channel, and 43 broadcast and cable television programs, according to their website.