Two companies owned by a black American businessman have filed a lawsuit against McDonald's, asserting that the fast-food giant is discriminating against the media owned by African Americans. </p><div> <p>The lawsuit was filed in the California Supreme Court and is seeking $ 10 billion in damages. It is part of a campaign by businessman Byron Allen to persuade major American companies to spend more advertising money on black-owned media. The lawsuit was filed by the two companies owned by Allen, "Entertainment Studio Inc." and "Weather Group LLC". The Allen Media Group / Internet Studio produces films and owns more than a dozen television stations.
According to the lawsuit, McDonald’s spent about $ 1.6 billion on TV ads in the United States in 2018, but only 0.31 percent went to black-owned media. “It is about the economic integration of African-American businesses into the United States economy,” Allen said in a statement. “McDonald’s takes billions of African American consumers and returns almost nothing,” he added.
He continued, “The largest trade deficit in America is the trade deficit between the white companies in America and black America, and McDonald’s is guilty of continuing this disparity.” The lawsuit states that McDonald’s deliberately discriminated against the two plaintiffs through racial profiling and refusal to enter into contracts. A McDonald’s spokesman told the Wall Street Journal that the group would study the lawsuit.
Earlier Thursday, McDonald’s announced that it would double the advertising money it pays to media companies owned by blacks and Hispanics, women and other underrepresented groups in the next four years. Spending for black-owned businesses will increase from 2 percent to 5 percent of the money earmarked for national advertising during this period.