Judge Rules That Byron Allen Can Proceed With Discrimination Lawsuit Against McDonald's
Photo Credit: Epics / Noel Vasquez

Judge Rules That Byron Allen Can Proceed With Discrimination Lawsuit Against McDonald's

A judge has given Byron Allen the all-clear to proceed with his racial discrimination lawsuit against McDonald’s. Ba-da-bup-bup-ba, we’re loving it!

According to The Grio, U.S. District Judge Fernando Olguin gave Allen and his companies the green light to proceed and said that McDonald’s claim was denied “for improperly referencing materials outside the pleadings.”

But there’s no guarantee that Byron Allen will be able to proceed. The outlet confirms that McDonald’s has until Jan. 27 to refile their motion to dismiss, which the company said they would most certainly do.

“McDonald’s will refile its motion to dismiss by January 27 and continues to believe plaintiffs’ claims are meritless,” the company said in a statement. “This case is about revenue, not race, and plaintiffs’ groundless allegations ignore McDonald’s legitimate business reasons for not investing more on their channels and the company’s collaboration with diverse-owned partners.”

This is just the latest salvo in an ongoing saga between the media mogul and the fast-food giant, with both sides levying heavy accusations against each other. Allen has repeatedly called for McDonald’s to fire its current CEO, and McDonald’s has pushed back claiming Allen is “overreacting.”

But the numbers don’t lie. According to the lawsuit, McDonald’s annual advertising budget is $1.6 billion. Yet, Black-owned media only gets about $5 million annually — which is less than 1 percent of the company’s total advertising budget. Add that to the fact that McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski receives an annual paycheck of $11 million — which is apparently taken from the overall advertising budget, no less — the optics look more than a little egregious, to put it mildly.

“We look forward to presenting our enormous evidence in court, which will prove the systemic racism at McDonald’s,” Byron Allen said in a statement. “And I firmly believe the board at McDonald’s should fire CEO Chris Kempczinski immediately.”

What is at the crux of Byron Allen's lawsuit?

According to The Grio, the crux of Byron Allen’s lawsuit against McDonald’s is — simply put — the company is refusing to spend money with his stations because they’re Black-owned. What’s more, the suit is alleging that McDonald’s has a $100 billion revenue, however, it readily spends advertising with white-owned media (and on white-owned networks), but not with Black-owned media.

As AfroTech previously reported, Byron Allen previously issued an open letter to McDonald’s CEO, Chris Kempczinski, where Allen and other Black media owners urge the company to commit five to 15 percent of its advertising and marketing spend to Black-owned media.