A California judge ruled Tuesday that a lawsuit against McDonald’s, brought by a media mogul accusing the fast-food chain of not advertising enough for black-owned chains and seeking $10 billion in damages, could take the next step.
The first complaint, filed in May 2021, was dismissed by the same judge a few months later on the grounds that it was not supported by sufficient evidence.
But the judge accepted an amended version of the lawsuit in January and then rejected McDonald’s request on Tuesday to strike it down.
Byron Allen, an African American, accuses the fast food giant of refusing to broadcast promotional messages on the channels he owns through his company Entertainment Studios Networks and Weather Group since he became the owner.
The businessman also accuses McDonald’s of creating a system with, on the one hand, advertising expenditures for white-owned channels, and on the other, advertising expenditures for channels directed towards the African American community. He says the ads pay less there.
“We believe the evidence will show that there was no discrimination and that Entertainment Studios’ allegations are unfounded,” McDonald’s attorney Loretta Lynch said in a letter to AFP.
“Their complaint is about revenue, not racial issues, and the plaintiffs’ baseless allegations ignore McDonald’s legitimate business reasons for not investing further in their chains and the company’s long-term business relationships with many other partners (media, editor’s note) belong to different owners.”
According to Byron, McDonald’s spent about $1.6 billion on TV advertising in the US in 2019, but only 0.31% of that went to African-American-controlled media, even though that community accounts for about 40% of fast-food customers. in the United States. country.
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