According to Reuters, McDonald’s has been officially ordered to stand trial in media mogul Byron Allen’s $10 billion discrimination lawsuit.
As previously reported by AfroTech, the lawsuit alleges the fast-food chain is “racially stereotyping” by excluding black media from its advertising.
On Friday (September 16), U.S. District Judge Fernando Olguin gave Allen the green light to try to prove McDonald’s violated both federal and California rights, saying its networks don’t serve the “vast majority” of its customers Advertising dollars would come into question.
According to the lawsuit, McDonald’s has an annual advertising budget of $1.6 billion. On the other hand, Allen claims that black-owned media only gets about $5 million of that amount annually, which accounts for less than 1 percent of the fast-food company’s total advertising budget.
According to court documents, Olguin noted that since its inception, Byron’s Entertainment Studios has repeatedly attempted to obtain a contract from McDonald’s proving its alleged “racist” corporate culture caused Allen ill will. However, they have come up short every time.
“Taken together, and interpreted in the most favorable light to the plaintiffs, the plaintiffs have alleged sufficient facts to support the conclusion of willful discrimination,” Olguin wrote.
Which companies are affected?
The lawsuit also suggests that Allen’s Entertainment Studios Networks Inc. and its Weather Group, LLC, which owns the weather channel, were directly affected by McDonald’s decision, which ultimately deprived them of tens of millions of dollars in revenue.
Loretta Lynch, McDonald’s attorney, has claimed the lawsuit against the fast-food company is more about revenue than race.
“The plaintiffs’ baseless allegations ignore both McDonald’s legitimate business reasons for not investing more in its channels and the company’s longstanding business relationships with many other partners of varying ownership,” Lynch reportedly said.
If it doesn’t work the first time…
Although this time Olguin ordered the suit to go forward, that wasn’t always the case. In November 2021, he dismissed an earlier version of Allen’s allegations, saying there was no evidence of intentional and targeted discrimination against his companies.
struggle for culture
Allen goes on to argue that the allegations “are about the economic involvement of African American-owned companies in the US economy.”
He added, “McDonald’s takes billions of African American consumers and gives back almost nothing.”
Previous legal action against McDonald’s
This isn’t the first time McDonald’s has been hit by a discrimination lawsuit. In fact, AfroTech reported that following a lawsuit alleging racial discrimination, the restaurant was ordered to pay former major league baseball player Herb Washington $33.5 million.