Posted on December 2, 2021

Byron Allen’s $10 Bln McDonald’s Discrimination Lawsuit Is Thrown Out

Jonathan Stempel, Reuters, December 1, 2021

A U.S. judge has dismissed a $10 billion lawsuit against McDonald’s Corp (MCD.N) by the media entrepreneur Byron Allen, who accused the fast-food chain of racial discrimination for not advertising with Black-owned media.

U.S. District Judge Fernando Olguin in Los Angeles wrote on Tuesday that two companies owned by Allen did not offer enough factual evidence to show that McDonald’s “intentionally and purposefully discriminated against them.”

According to Allen’s complaint, McDonald’s has refused to advertise with lifestyle channels owned by his Entertainment Studios Networks since their 2009 launch, or with The Weather Channel since Allen bought its parent Weather Group in 2018.

Allen also said McDonald’s spent just 0.3% of its $1.6 billion U.S. ad budget in 2019 with Black-owned media though Blacks represent 40% of fast food customers, an allocation that reflected “racial animus and racial stereotyping.”

But the judge said Allen didn’t show his companies pushed hard enough to contract with McDonald’s only to be rebuffed, or that McDonald’s treated comparable white-owned networks better.