Byron Allen, Charter Communications Settle $10 Billion Racial Discrimination Suit

Byron Allen, Charter Communications Settle $10 Billion Racial Discrimination Suit

Byron Allen
Byron Allen, Charter Communications Settle $10 Billion Racial Discrimination Suit. Comedian and media mogul Byron Allen poses for a picture Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019, in Los Angeles. The Supreme Court will hear arguments Nov. 13 in a $20 billion lawsuit Allen filed against Comcast, with the outcome also affecting a $10 billion case he filed against Charter Communications. If Allen wins, it will become easier for black-owned businesses to bring and win civil rights lawsuits like his that allege discrimination in contracting. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Byron Allen has settled the $10 billion lawsuit his Entertainment Studios had against Charter Communications for racial discrimination. It is the second settlement in less than a year for Allen’s company, who also sued Comcast for racial discrimination, but settled that suit in June 2020.

“Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios Networks has resolved and withdrawn the lawsuit against Charter Communications,” the parties announced in a joint statement, according to Deadline. It brings closure to a longstanding legal battle.

Allen filed suit against both Charter and Comcast in 2015 after alleging they refused to distribute his channels because of racial bias. Allen and the companies were in and out of court for a while, before a judge upheld a ruling in 2018 that would allow Allen to continue in his pursuit of legal action against Charter.

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“Charter once again tried to claim in a court of law that the First Amendment gives them the right to discriminate against Black people. This is a despicable, racist legal position, and I’m highly-confident Charter CEO Tom Rutledge and the Charter Board of Directors will be held fully accountable,” Byron Allen said in a statement at the time. “Charter has now been told by Judge Wu twice, and the Ninth Circuit, that the First Amendment does not give anyone the right to discriminate against 100 million minorities in this country.”

Both Comcast and Charter denied any wrongdoing and Allen suffered a legal setback when it was ruled unanimously in his case against Comcast, which reached the Supreme Court, that there was an issue with the an interpretation question and sent back to lower courts.

As a part of the settlement, Comcast agreed to carry some of Allen’s channels, which he expressed excitement at. “We’re excited to begin a new phase of partnership with Comcast and Xfinity, including the distribution of our cable channels for the first time on Xfinity platforms,” Allen said.

Details of the settlement have not been disclosed.