Comcast, Al Sharpton Hit with $20 Billion Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

Eriq Gardner, Hollywood Reporter, February 23, 2015

Even though the FCC hasn’t yet ruled on the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, one group has already filed a lawsuit claiming at least $20 billion in damages from the way the two giants allegedly discriminate against black-owned media.

The complaint, filed in California on Friday, comes from the National Association of African-American Owned Media, which also filed a similar suit against AT&T and DirecTV in December.

This time, the plaintiff is not only targeting both Comcast and TWC–on the eve of the two companies merging to become what would be the largest pay television distributor in the United States–but also various African-American advocacy groups and MSNBC host Al Sharpton for allegedly facilitating discrimination.

Comcast is one of the biggest companies to employ a chief diversity officer, and its practices have been lauded by many including Black Enterprise magazine, which recently named it as one of the 40 best companies for diversity. The lawsuit figures to face many hurdles, from the sufficiency of its allegations to possibly the First Amendment, but for now it presents a larger portrait of a media company that isn’t carrying many fully owned black channels and the dangers of allowing it to grow bigger.


Sharpton tells us that he “welcomes the opportunity to answer the frivolous allegations” and says he will be bringing counterclaims for defamation.

According to the lawsuit, Comcast and TWC “collectively spend approximately $25 billion annually for the licensing of pay-television channels and advertising of their products and services, yet 100% African American–owned media receives less than $3 million per year.”

At the time of Comcast’s 2010 acquisition of NBCUniversal, Comcast entered into memoranda of understanding with the NAACP, the National Urban League and the National Action Network, but the lawsuit says the voluntary diversity agreements are “a sham, undertaken to whitewash Comcast’s discriminatory business practices.”

The plaintiff objects that the only fully black-owned channel picked up by Comcast is the Africa Channel, and that entity is owned by former Comcast/NBCU exec Paula Madison, who “was directly involved in putting together the sham MOUs and obtaining government approval for the Comcast acquisition of NBC Universal, thus creating a serious conflict of interest.”

Other black channels are said to be “window dressing,” with black celebrities as “fronts” when they are “white-owned businesses” that are run by friends or family of Comcast executives.

The lawsuit goes on to say that Comcast made large cash “donations” to obtain support for its acquisition. The money includes $3.8 million to Sharpton and his National Action Network. The money, it’s charged, was meant to pay Sharpton to endorse the NBCU deal and divert attention away from discrimination. As for Sharpton’s MSNBC gig, the complaint says, “Despite the notoriously low ratings that Sharpton’s show generates, Comcast has allowed Sharpton to maintain his hosting position for more than three years in exchange for Sharpton’s continued public support for Comcast on issues of diversity.”

Sharpton objects that the budget for National Action Network is not even $4 million, and as for his MSNBC show, he believes he has the most successful show in the 6 p.m. hour at MSNBC, that “the numbers speak for themselves.” The lawsuit seems to count Sharpton’s reported $750,000 annual salary at MSNBC as part of the $3.8 million and leverages past criticism of the noted civil rights leader that’s rooted in him allegedly turning an eye and forgoing boycotts and protests on corporations upon receiving monetary contributions to the National Action Network.

As for support to the theory of discrimination in contracting, the lawsuit says Comcast has a “Jim Crow” process with respect to licensing black-owned channels, and that one Comcast exec stated, “We’re not trying to create any more Bob Johnsons,” referring to the founder of Black Entertainment Television.


A Comcast spokesperson responds, “We are proud of our outstanding record supporting and fostering diverse programming, including programming from African-American–owned and–controlled cable channels. We currently carry more than 100 networks geared toward diverse audiences, including multiple networks owned or controlled by minorities.”

She adds, “Comcast has engaged in good-faith negotiations with this programmer for many years. It is disappointing that they have decided to file a frivolous lawsuit. We will defend vigorously against the scurrilous allegations in this complaint and fully expect that the court will dismiss them.”


Topics: , , ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • Tim_in_Indiana

    This would be delicious irony. Love it when they eat their own.

    • JohnEngelman

      It couldn’t have happened to a more deserving person.

      • Georgia Boy

        Heh nor do I have much sympathy for Comcast. If it were just me I’d live like I did when I was single, didn’t even own a TV. The expense, the bad service, and most of all the constant noise, TV is more a source of stress than entertainment to me.

        • bv

          You can get everything off of the internet now. Many times free.

          • I watch war documentaries on YouTube. The only reason we have a TV set is for watching movies on DVD.

          • Georgia Boy

            And once the cable business model goes under, next may be to sue Google, Yahoo, and Youtube for their search results being racist and not featuring black controlled sites enough.

          • notyranny

            If Only

          • Speedy Steve

            Oh sure! One zillion websites for them to talk about their dripping organs. Maybe they truly don’t have anything interesting to say, unless a small group of White race traitors puts the words into their filthy mouths.

          • Spikeygrrl

            OK, you lost me there. If you’re referring to hardcore p o r n — which is NOT legal basic-cable fare — they are hugely (pun intended) OVER-represented.

            I enjoy p o r n as much as the next grrl (OK, prolly MORE than the next grrl) but I can’t watch THAT without getting literally, physically, sick to my stomach.

          • Drifter745

            A grrl after my own heart!

          • Spikeygrrl

            I’d be surprised if that isn’t already happening. You have heard about the latest “diversity outreach” flap-doodle at Microsoft, neh?

          • Charles Martel

            Yea and you can get news from other than 5 tribe families and Carlos Slims

        • Katherine McChesney

          I haven’t owned a television in seven years. I can access free episodes on many sites. I have Netflix and Acorn TV for films for around $20. per month.

        • notyranny

          We only have Netflix, and were thinking of dropping that…current TV expense 8.95 monthly

        • Spikeygrrl

          In fairness, although their consumer programming is nothing to write home about, Comcast offers some pretty darn good, reasonably priced production services. Back in the Stone Age when I produced and directed a good bit of video I’d hire one of their multicam production trucks for live location gigs which didn’t lend themselves to film-style (single camera). I never had any complaints with their services. Although as a location producting kinda grrl I never used them, Comcast also has studios and studio cameras+ops in most major markets for stuff like infomercials.

          Oh, and did I mention that they NEVER sent me a black or a brown among the truck techies…?

      • Americaandthewestshouldbewhite

        John I am surprised that you hate Al Shaptongue. I thought you loved negroes and jews.

        • Katherine McChesney

          He’s obsessed with ‘orientals’.

          • Americaandthewestshouldbewhite

            What an idiot he is.

        • JohnEngelman

          You are half right.

          • Race War Provisions

            You like Jews?

          • JohnEngelman


          • Spikeygrrl

            So do I. They’ve got us whomped seventeen ways from Sunday in IQ, valuing education, understanding money and how to make it…and, of course, they have run the de facto most effective voluntary, positive, and individual eugenics program in Human history. And no, they do not eat Christian babies (forehead-palm).

            If you are unfamiliar with the distinction between voluntary, individual, positive eugenics and coercive, negative, population-level eugenics, please, PLEASE look it up! There is a REASON that Mr. Taylor believes — as I do — that some demos of modern American WHITE Jewry will stand beside us when TSHTF.

          • Americaandthewestshouldbewhite

            So you love jews? How come?

        • Americaandthewestshouldbewhite

          Idiot, stop removing my posts just because I asked you a valid question. Now answer me, why do you like jews? are you one???

    • bv

      All the need are short swords, shield, net and a trident. I’d pay good money to see a fight to the death.

      • Hell, I’d be happy watching them engage in a good-old ghetto shootout – you know, with their handguns tilted to the side like the way black thugs fire a weapon? Good Lord, that would be hysterical!

        • Bill Moore

          Hello bluffcreek1967,

          When Africans shoot at each other, they hit mostly bystanders.

          We had them in the US Army. They almost never hit what they are aiming at. Even though they received more help and training than Caucasians, the Africans just could’t seem to learn what the sights on a rifle are for.

          Keep that in mind when the civil war starts,
          Bill Moore

          • bilderbuster

            It’s already started.
            It’s just that most Whites are in denial.

          • MBlanc46

            They might not kill many of each other, but they’d get a lot of four-year olds standing in their living rooms.

          • Cid Campeador

            OR standing outside their house at 3:00 a.m.

          • Yes, Bill, I’m quite aware of that. It was only humor.

          • Nancy

            Mostly because those dimwits insist on holding the gun sideways when they shoot, because it looks mo’ gangsta’ that way.

            One scene I recall from the Civil War propaganda film “Glory” was when the blacks were finally issued real weapons. They ran around laughing, yelling, pointing their rifles at each other, and pretending to shoot and kill each other like it was great fun. It was one of the few accurate scenes in the whole film, demonstrating why Africans should never be given weapons.

          • Cid Campeador

            Honing one’s shooting skills requires discipline. A virtue that too many Afros lack.

        • Charles Martel

          The black moslem in Copenhagen fired 200+ shots and only killed 1 with 3 injured.

          • Speedy Steve

            Indeed Charles. The safest place to be is in front of Shitavious’ Glock.

        • bv

          Too much chance of a stray bullet hitting you. They learn gunmanship by watching Superfly movies.

          • Yes, I’m quite aware of that. It was only humor. Perhaps I should have said that the gunfire exchange would be carried out in an enclosed gun range with no one present and all the doors locked?

        • Cid Campeador

          At the County firing range day a Black guy (membership is required) arrived with his semi-auto pistol. When the line was declared hot a look to my right and there he was with the pistol turned sideways The range master told him that it wasn’t an acceptable way of holding the weapon. He complied until he noticed that the RM wasn’t watching and immediately turned the gun sideways. He was holding it at less than arm’s length with his head cocked to the side as well. He fired the shot, the gun recoiled and struck him right in the middle of his forehead; opening a nasty gash that bled profusely. Stupidty + Tight Skin= Profuse Bleeding.
          I couldn’t help but think ” Black Boy Bleed a Lot”., He was taken to the Local ER and I assume that he was sporting a S–t Load of sutures for a while.”
          I wondered of he had learned a lesson. Probably NOT!!!

  • MekongDelta69

    Comcast (the owner of all of NBC and its leftist affiliates) is one of the blankety-blank-blank anti-White, garbage companies in the country.

    And nothing more needs to be said about Sharp-Tonnage.

    Sue, baby, sue…

  • I discriminate against negrotic and negrophilic media by refusing to watch or read the garbage. Haul me into court over this and you’ll go out in a hearse.

    • bv

      Hearse? How are you going to that?

      • Even my mother says my hand look like they belong on a serial-killer.

        • Katherine McChesney

          That doesn’t say much for you.

          And, by the way, how does your mother know what a serial killers hands look like?

          • PostBunnie

            When a mommy and a daddy love each other very much…
            Hand holding is involved.

            I assume that Michael would employ such a great legal defense that the prosecution/plaintiff would simply have a heart attack. “This man won’t watch entertainment that contains interracial relationships or material!!!”
            “Your honor, bestiality is in direct violation of our state’s laws. I refuse to become an accessory after the fact.”

  • Sharpton tells us that he “welcomes the opportunity to answer the frivolous allegations” and says he will be bringing counterclaims for defamation.

    Usually, Sharpton is the one leveling frivolous allegations.

    Sharpton objects that the budget for National Action Network is not even $4 million, and as for his MSNBC show, he believes he has the most successful show in the 6 p.m. hour at MSNBC, that “the numbers speak for themselves.”

    Having “the most successful show” in a given time slot on MSNBC is like bragging about having been the biggest minnow in the puddle during a given day.

    • Maybe if it is so successful, he could pay his taxes.

      • Luca

        Stop reading my mind.

      • bilderbuster

        He doesn’t have to .
        Black Privilege and all that, don’t you know?

      • Spikeygrrl

        Hmmmm. Not to criticize, but you just reminded me of an issue which has bothered me for years: How to square my lifelong imperative to live as what my late parents used to call “a decent, upright, law-abiding citizen” with my sincere belief that we are HUGELY overregulated, and that income taxation is a prime offender?

        My brain says, pay your taxes!…but my heart supports tax evasion as a legitimate form of nonviolent social resistance.

        Thoughts, anybody?

  • TruthBeTold

    I see this is reported in the Hollywood Reporter. HR does many stories about race.

    Unfortunately, I was just banned by HR on Friday.

    My offense was to comment on a story about Selma and the Oscars.

    ALL I did was say, ‘Selma numbers receipt numbers aren’t very good. It’s rated as 13 by Box Office Mojo in terms of receipts and box office attendance’. That’s pretty much all I said. No bad words. No attack on anyone. For that I was banned.

    • OS-Q

      Maybe they searched for your posts on other sites.

      • TruthBeTold

        When I set up this diqus account I set it to private just for that reason.

        With an old account, when people couldn’t deal with a comment I made they searched my history until they found something to attack me with.

        It’s just strange because if you read the page, other people said things blatantly offensive.

        Time to get another disqus account. Then I can post on UK Telegraph again too.

    • Anything even remotely negative that might paint blacks is a bad light is anathema to the Left. They’d rather outright ban you than take the chance that your comments might get people to actually start thinking for themselves.

    • Katherine McChesney

      The comment section on HR is burning up with truthful race reality remarks. Page after page of them. And I’ve seen no censorship of any of them.

      • Charles Martel

        Oddly enough I got banned from Huffpo for pointing out in the Skittles coverage that the picture has to be bad because a 13yo black that raped a 90yo woman in Lima OH looks far older than him & gave a link.

        • Katherine McChesney

          Bully for you. I’m sure a number of people saw it before you were banned.

      • TruthBeTold

        That’s why I’m stymied. People have said far worse. Why me???

        I’m stumped.

  • Alucard_the_last

    Well, well, well. The chicken finally comes home roost. I hope this doesn’t end well for Sharpton.

    • Caucasoid88

      Nice pun on the chicken.

  • WR_the_realist

    I’d be loving this feud if it were not for the fact that Comcast is the only provider of cable internet in New Hampshire. I’d boycott Comcast if it didn’t force me to downgrade to DSL.

    • bv

      You and your family will be better off without it. Think of bit as a blessing in disguise!

      On the other hand you can get all the shows you need by streaming all the shows you love.

      • Spikeygrrl

        Which sounds fine IF your favorite shows are carried by Hulu or Netflix or somesuch. But what if they’re not? DH really enjoys Mythbusters after a hard week’s work, I’m CONSTANTLY upgrading my cooking skills via Food Network, and we BOTH look forward to the next seasons/episodes of The Blacklist, Hannibal, and Game of Thrones.

        We will drop cable only when streaming services can muster that kind of lineup — AND project it from the PC to the TV, which is in another room.

        • bv

          There’s all kinds of free ones that’ll stream all of the shows.

          • Spikeygrrl

            “That’ll” = “That WILL.” IOW, it doesn’t yet. When it does — and not before — I’ll switch.

  • Luca

    Doesn’t matter what you sue Sharpton for, he won’t pay. He’s too big a kingpin in the Discrimination Industry and has friends in high places.

    • LexiconD1

      His Twana Brawley suit was paid for by Johnnie Cochran (my spell check says it’s spelled cockroach), he’s currently residing in the hot place right now.

  • haroldcrews

    Disparate Impact is a bitch when you’re on the wrong end.

  • dd121

    Aren’t these liberals mad about the WET (White entertainment channel)? Oh wait…

  • superlloyd

    Hahaha. Hoist by his own petard. I hope that shyster ends up broke and in jail where he belongs.

  • bv

    Now he’s after the chosen ones

    • Georgia Boy

      That or ykw have decided he’s no longer the face they need for that job, and are gently pushing him aside. Nothing happens by accident in the dog and pony show of the big-time grievance business.

  • Is this what ‘Reverend’ Jeremiah Wright meant when he spoke of ‘Chickens coming home to roost’?

    • Ograf

      Chickens be raciss.

      • Spikeygrrl

        Only if you eat them with blackeyed peas, field greens, and watermelon.

        • Race War Provisions

          Don’t forget fried in chitlins!

          • Spikeygrrl


            Chitlins get fried IN a grease or oil; other foods don’t get fried IN chitlins.

            (It’s clear that you’re no cook, either professionally or avocationally. Usually it’s a poor choice to try to craft humor out of something you don’t understand.)

  • Paul Lycurgues

    EXCLUSIVE : indictment document in NAAAOM v. Sharpton !
    WARNING : document contains highly technical legal jargon


    “Yo pap’ yo’v ta share more o’ da dough, yo, if not want no troubl’ ”


    source : U.S. DOJ, 2015

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    Now, Al will have to go back to being a snitch for the FBI to pay off his back taxes.

    This may be payback for threatening and agitating against Sony.

    • bilderbuster

      He may still be on the FBI payroll.

    • Dana

      The tooth and eyeball club

    • Katherine McChesney

      It must be difficult to photograph blacks. They ‘disappear’ into the shadows.

      • Bon, From the Land of Babble

        Why they’re not often used as models – they scream “racism” but it IS difficult to take photos of blacks – that and the obvious idiocy of using blacks as models in the first place.

    • Race War Provisions

      Bon you have the best posts.

      • Bon, From the Land of Babble

        Thank you for the kind words.

  • InAFreeCountry

    Enjoy your shakedown!

  • BillMiller66

    Black-on-black litigation…..this should get fun.

  • Yet another reason to not get cable. The idea of subsidizing BETV makes my skin crawl.

  • Texan1st

    In case you’ve ever considered donating your hard earned money to “The United Way”, research which organizations they ally themselves with first…..

  • Cid Campeador

    This pendejo belongs in Jail. He’s an inciter to riot, arson and resulting murder. He destroys reputations and lives.

  • sonofseawolf

    hi amren,
    these media companies are not white owned business’.
    best if they were called anti white business’
    protect yourself at all times 14 5

  • Race War Provisions

    I don’t know what’s crappier, Al Shaptongue or Comcrap?

    They can go F themselves, I don’t want a higher bill from Time Warner.

  • Rizzo419

    ‘According to the lawsuit, Comcast and TWC “collectively spend
    approximately $25 billion annually for the licensing of pay-television
    channels and advertising of their products and services, yet 100%
    African American–owned media receives less than $3 million per year.”’

    The zero-sum mentality. The company “spends” money and they “receive” it. Don’t refer to it as “investment” because that would imply that black-owned media isn’t profitable, instead of the preferred grievance procedure of shaming white people.