Television producer and media mogul Byron Allen, joined with the National Association of African-American Owned Media (NAAAOM) has dropped a $20 billion suit against Comcast, Al Sharpton and Time Warner Cable.
Allen alleges in the suit that his production company has been intentionally discriminated against in its efforts to secure distribution on cable entities owned by Comcast and Time Warner. Allen has also filed suit for $10 billion against AT&T and DirectTV over the same allegations.
And what does that have to do with Al Sharpton?
Allen’s suit alleges that, “Comcast paid Sharpton and his National Action Network (NAN) more than $3.8 million in donations and salary for the on-screen television-hosting position on MSNBC.”
In a recent interview in the right leaning blog Daily Caller, Allen said, “It’s cheaper to give Al Sharpton money, than it is to do business with real African-American owned media. What Comcast did is, they give Al Sharpton money so he doesn’t call them racist. That is the issue here… (He) is nothing more than a black pawn in a very sophisticated white economic chess game. He’s not even bright enough to know he’s on the chess board, and he’s being used by his white masters at Comcast, specifically David Cohen and (Comcast CEO) Brian Roberts.”
Byron Allen’s suit is likely to become a referendum on the strategies of legacy civil rights organizations and specifically Sharpton, particularly after the #BlackLIvesMatter movement grows. At a time when the stats for African Americans regarding poverty, unemployment and the wealth gap between black and white, several legacy groups have become relatively quiet given the growing problems.
On the other side: African Americans don’t financially support these legacy organizations. As a result they are faced with the problems of a lack of funding that leads them to become dependent corporate funding.