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Byron Allen Hits Comcast, Al Sharpton with $20 Billion Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

Byron AllenWhile I enjoy covering diverse genres/categories of stories over the years for numerous media outlets, including mine, I must say I love fashion and entertainment law stories and journalism the most. There is never a dull moment. I am hoping to bring a different angle and coverage to this story. Stay tuned.

-Uduak

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

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.

“We do not generally comment on pending litigation, but this complaint represents nothing more than a string of inflammatory, inaccurate, and unsupported allegations,” responds Comcast in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.

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

THR.Esq. has the full story.

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Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at https://msuduak.com.

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