Diddy Speaks Out Against Comcast Using His Name and REVOLT Network In Byron Allen Discrimination Case
Sean “Diddy” Combs is not about to let Comcast use him as a house negro. The entertainment mogul released a statement today addressing Comcast invoking his name and REVOLT TV network as an example of their inclusive business practices in the U.S. Supreme Court discrimination case brought against them by media magnate Byron Allen.
Originally posted on his social media channels and REVOLT website, Diddy said the case is very significant to the civil rights of Black people and he will not be complicit with Comcast by being silent. In addition to saying, “Comcast is choosing to be on the wrong side of history,” Diddy wrote:
“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.”
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Allen is the CEO of Entertainment Studios and Allen Media Broadcasting. Citing racial discrimination, Allen is suing Comcast for $20 billion for its refusal to license his TV channels.One of the largest independent film and television conglomerates, Entertainments Studios is home to The Weather Channel and its streaming service Local Now.
Allen alleges Comcast refused to license his channels, while opting for many white-owned networks that weren’t nearly as popular. He even alleged that one of Comcast’s executives told one of his employees during ne of . their many attempts to gain licensing, “we’re not trying to create any more Bob Johnsons.” Robert “Bob” Johnson is the founder of Black Entertainment Television (BET). He became a billionaire by selling the network to Viacom.
As a part of its defense, Comcast is arguing Allen must prove it refused to do business with him solely on the basis of race. It is a position that has caused many to be concerned with the repercussions it may have on civil rights for Blacks if Comcast succeeds. Diddy is one of them.
“The Civil Rights Act of 1866 section 1981 was designed to ensure Black people are able to do business in this country and not be denied because of race. Comcast is arguing that this law only applies if racial discrimination is the only factor that leads to a refusal to do business, which would be extremely hard to prove. If they are successful, it will become much harder for any victim of discrimination to seek justice in court. By taking this stance in the Supreme Court, Comcast has put its legal tactics ahead of the rights of millions of Americans to be heard. This is not OK,” Diddy continued.
Diddy also said though he does have a business relationship with Comcast, the cable conglomerate has done little to advance the positions of Black-owned networks like his.
“Comcast spends billions of dollars on content networks every year, but just a few million go to African American owned networks like REVOLT. That is unacceptable.”
He is being celebrated for speaking out despite the adverse consequences it could have on his business relationship with Comcast.