Question: What does a company hailed by “Black Enterprise” magazine for employing a diversity officer have in common with the nation’s biggest race-baiter?
Answer: They’re named as defendants in a lawsuit accusing each of racial discrimination.
The best novelist in the world couldn’t make this stuff up.
The National Association of African-American Owned Media filed its lawsuit Friday claiming $20 billion in damages due to a proposed merger of two media giants — Comcast and Time Warner Cable, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The Federal Communications Commission has yet to bestow its blessings on the union. The media group filed a similar claim against two satellite providers in December — AT&T and DirecTV.
But distinguishing this from the December lawsuit is that the group invited several African-American advocacy groups to sit at the defendant’s table, including Al Sharpton and his own organization, National Action Network.
The complaint alleges that the two cable companies “collectively spend approximately $25 billion annually for the licensing of pay-television channels and advertising of their products and services, yet 100% African American–owned media receives less than $3 million per year.”
Comcast, which was described by “Black Enterprise” as one of the 40 best companies for diversity, was taken aback, and called the action as little more than a nuisance lawsuit.
“We do not generally comment on pending litigation, but this complaint represents nothing more than a string of inflammatory, inaccurate, and unsupported allegations,” Comcast told The Hollywood Reporter in a statement.
And what of Sharpton’s alleged role in this? According to The Reporter:
At the time of Comcast’s 2010 acquisition of NBCUniversal, Comcast entered into memoranda of understanding with the NAACP, the National Urban League and the National Action Network, but the lawsuit says the voluntary diversity agreements are “a sham, undertaken to whitewash Comcast’s discriminatory business practices.”
For his part, Sharpton said he “welcomes the opportunity to answer the frivolous allegations” and said he plans to bring a counter suit for defamation.
As an aside, Sharpton’s reputation is so far in the gutter now, it’s difficult to see how it could be defamed any further.
2015 seems to be the year for reaffirming affirmative action.
Minorities were disappointed that the Academy Awards ceremony honored fewer actors and films of color than what it “should have.” Now corporate America is being sued because a proposed cable merger won’t broadcast “enough” African-American networks.
Whatever happened to being judged purely on one’s merits?
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