September 28, 2022

Black Media Mogul Byron Allen Sues McDonald’s For $10 Billion

Black media mogul, Byron Allen, has hit McDonald’s with a massive lawsuit after claiming the corporation deliberately excludes Black-owned media from its advertising campaigns. 

Allen, the owner of Allen Media Group, claims McDonald’s refused to advertise on his networks due to internalized discrimination against Black-owned media and racial stereotyping that only sees them take from Black consumers and never give back. 

McDonald’s is the world’s leading food service retailer, generating over $100 billion in annual revenue. African Americans represent approximately 40% of McDonald’s U.S. sales but dedicate a small proportion to Black-owned media.  

According to Fortune, McDonald’s has an advertising budget of $1.6 billion, but according to Allen, the organization only spends $5 million of that total budget on Black-owned media platforms. 

“This is about economic inclusion of African American-owned businesses in the U.S. economy. McDonald’s takes billions from African American consumers and gives almost nothing back,” said Allen in a new press release.  

“McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski got caught sending racist text messages, and McDonald’s has been sued by the Black franchisees, the Black executives, the Black employees, the Black vendors, and 52 percent of the McDonald’s stockholders recently voted to hire a third-party firm to investigate McDonald’s for civil rights violations. This is historic!!!” 

Allen believes McDonald’s has created an “African American tier,” which sees only a tiny percentage of the budget allocated to Black-owned media corporations. He considers his TV networks to fall under this category. 

Last year, McDonald’s announced that it would increase advertising with Black-owned companies from 2% to 5% of its total budget by 2024, but many people believe this is not enough. 

According to the lawsuit, McDonald’s has been accused of violating federal and California civil rights laws, and last week a judge ruled that the case will be moving forward. 

Kumba Kpakima

Kumba Kpakima is a reporter at POCIT. A documentary about the knife crime epidemic in the UK got her a nomination for the UK's #30toWatch Young Journalists of the Year.