If you haven’t already heard, Byron Allen is going up against Comcast in court after the telecommunications company reportedly refused his business.
As HipHopDX explains “Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios filed a $20 billion racial discrimination lawsuit against Comcast in 2015, claiming Comcast didn’t allow Allen to have his channels carried by Comcast. Although the initial claim was dismissed by the lower court three separate times, the 9th Circuit court of appeals agreed to allow the case to be presented last year. On November 13, the Supreme Court convened to consider what the legal threshold is for a plaintiff to bring a racial discrimination complaint under section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866. That law was put in place after the abolition of slavery to ensure ‘non-whites’ were able to conduct business without facing discrimination.”
In a weak defense, Comcast reportedly brought up the fact that it does business with REVOLT, a tactic that REVOLT founder Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs does not condone. The business mogul used several of his own platforms to say…
“My name and my network, REVOLT, have been mentioned recently by Comcast in reference to the Comcast/Byron Allen US Supreme Court case as an example of Comcast’s inclusive practices with respect to African American owned cable networks. While it is true that we are in business with Comcast, it is not accurate to use my name or my network as an example of inclusion. I do not want my name to be used inaccurately so I must speak my truth. I also want to make clear that this case is now about much more than cable distribution. It’s about the civil rights of millions of African Americans and other minorities.”
Diddy went on to explain how Comcast’s approach could weaken civil rights protections, while also pointing out that REVOLT isn’t exactly a good example of “inclusion” on Comcast’s part…
“On REVOLT, I can only share the truth of my experience,” Diddy continued. “Starting an independent cable network is incredibly difficult and capital intensive. The start we received from Comcast, which was a condition of the United States government approval for Comcast to acquire NBCUniversal, was important, but it is not the level of support needed to build a successful African American owned network. Not even close. Since that launch our relationship has not grown, and REVOLT is still not carried by Comcast in the most affordable packages nor is REVOLT available in all of the markets that would enable us to serve our target audience.”
See Diddy’s full statement here.