He also accuses McDonald’s of relegating his TV networks to an “African American tier” that has a smaller ad budget and deprives the channels of millions of dollars in annual revenue.
“This is about economic inclusion of African American-owned businesses in the US economy,” Allen said in the press release. “McDonald’s takes billions from African American consumers and gives almost nothing back. The biggest trade deficit in America is the trade deficit between White corporate America and Black America, and McDonald’s is guilty of perpetuating this disparity.”
In response, McDonald’s lawyer Loretta Lynch, who was US attorney general during the Obama administration, said that the evidence will show that the company doesn’t discriminate and that Allen’s claims are “meritless.”
“Their complaint is about revenue, not race, and plaintiffs’ groundless allegations ignore both McDonald’s legitimate business reasons for not investing more on their channels and the company’s long-standing business relationships with many other diverse-owned partners,” said Lynch, who is now in private practice with the law firm Paul Weiss.
The case heads to trial in May 2023.
“Discrimination has no place at McDonald’s,” the company said in December 2021. “While we were confident in the strength of our case, this resolution aligns with McDonald’s values and enables us to continue focusing on our commitments to the communities that we serve.”