Music mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs penned an open letter calling out corporate America, specifically General Motors (GM), for exploiting Black-owned media companies via his cable network’s entertainment and news site, REVOLT.
In a letter titled, “If You Love Us, Pay Us,” Diddy exposes how corporations like General Motors falsely claim to support Black media companies like his own in an act that both robs them of advertising revenue and contributes to a history of systemic racism.
“The same feet these companies use to stand with us in solidarity are the same feet they use to stand on our necks,” he writes, reports Blavity.
The letter also calls additional attention to efforts from Byron Allen of Allen Media Group in which he and several other Black media companies took out a full page advertisement in the Detroit Free Press that directly blasted GM CEO Mary Barra for racism against said companies.
While GM has claimed to be in support of companies like REVOLT, Diddy challenged that statement with the following:
“When confronted by the leaders of several Black-owned media companies, General Motors (GM) listed my network, REVOLT, as an example of the Black-owned media it supports. While REVOLT does receive advertising revenue from GM, our relationship is not an example of success. Instead, REVOLT, just like other Black-owned media companies, fights for crumbs while GM makes billions of dollars every year from the Black community. Exposing GM’s historic refusal to fairly invest in Black-owned media is not an assassination of character, it’s exposing the way GM and many other advertisers have always treated us. No longer can Corporate America manipulate our community into believing that incremental progress is acceptable action.”
Diddy concluded his letter calling for corporate America to take an equitable percentage of what it takes from Black communities and reinvest it back into them.
“If the Black community represents 15% of your revenue, Black-owned media should receive at least 15% of the advertising spend,” he writes. “The same way you understand the power of our dollars, we understand our power to take them away from any corporation that doesn’t give us the economic inclusion we deserve. We are prepared to weaponize our dollars.”
Since the revival of the Black Lives Matter movement last summer, Black and non-Black consumers across the country have discovered a renewed passion for Black-owned businesses.
This sense of urgency to support Black entrepreneurs has shown how deep spending power runs in Black communities. More importantly, it’s shown how powerful Black communities are when we come together for the right cause.
Diddy, Allen, and others like them are demanding what has been owed to Black media companies. Now the only query that remains is will corporate America actually respond to these blasted statements and make an effort to right the wrongs of a corrupt system.
Go to revolt.tv to read Diddy’s letter in full.