McDonald’s has officially been ordered to stand trial in the $10 billion discrimination lawsuit brought forth by media mogul Byron Allen, Reuters reports.
As previously reported by AfroTech, the suit accuses the fast-food chain of “racial stereotyping” by excluding Black-owned media from its advertising.
As of Friday (Sept. 16), U.S. District Judge Fernando Olguin gave Allen the greenlight to attempt to prove that McDonald’s violated both federal and California rights by saying that his networks were not eligible for the “vast majority” of its advertising dollars.
According to the suit, McDonald’s has an annual advertising budget of $1.6 billion. On the other hand, Allen claims that Black-owned media only gets roughly $5 million of that amount annually, which is less than one percent of the fast-food company’s total advertising budget.
Per court records, Olguin noted that since its inception, Byron’s Entertainment Studios has repeatedly attempted to obtain a contract from McDonald’s that would prove that its alleged “racist” corporate culture caused Allen ill will. However, they have come up short each time.
“Taken together, and construed in the light most favorable to plaintiffs, plaintiffs have alleged sufficient facts to support an inference of intentional discrimination,” Olguin wrote.
What Companies Have Been Affected?
The suit also suggests that Allen’s Entertainment Studios Networks Inc. and his Weather Group, LLC, which owns the weather channel, have been directly affected by McDonald’s decision, ultimately depriving them of what they say are tens of millions of dollars in revenue.
Loretta Lynch, the lawyer representing McDonald’s, has maintained that the suit brought forth against the fast-food company is more about revenue than race.
“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,” said Lynch, according to reports.
If At First You Don't Succeed...
While Olguin has ordered for the suit to move forward this time, that was not always the case. In November 2021, he dismissed an earlier version of Allen’s allegations citing that there was no proof of intentional and purposeful discrimination against his companies.
Fighting For The Culture
Allen continues to argue that the allegations are “about economic inclusion of African American-owned businesses in the U.S. economy.”
He also added, “McDonald’s takes billions from African American consumers and gives almost nothing back.”
Past Legal Action Taken Against McDonald's
This is not the first time that McDonald’s has been hit with a discrimination lawsuit. In fact, AfroTech reported that the restaurant was ordered to pay former Major League Baseball player Herb Washington $33.5 million following a racial discrimination suit.