Advertising Age reported that the group of Black media moguls led by Byron Allen may advance the $10 billion discrimination lawsuit against Mickey D’s. A federal judge nixed the fast feeder’s latest attempt to have the suit tossed, although the McLegal team could refile its motion to dismiss. Meanwhile, Allen released a statement declaring, “We look forward to presenting our enormous evidence in court, which will prove the systemic racism at McDonald’s”—in addition to repeating his demand that the Golden Arches terminate CEO Chris Kempczinski.
In the past year, Mickey D’s has been hit by Allen’s discrimination lawsuit, Kempczinski’s cultural cluelessness and complaints of “systemic barriers” from the National Black McDonald’s Operators Association.
Gee, can’t wait to see the annual Black History Month promotion at the Black & Positively Golden® website section.
Byron Allen’s Discrimination Lawsuit Against McDonald’s Can Proceed
The complaint was amended to include additional detail after a previous version was thrown out in late November for lack of evidence
A federal judge has cleared the way for Byron Allen’s $10 billion discrimination lawsuit against McDonald’s to move forward, denying the fast-food giant’s request to toss the suit after Allen’s earlier complaint against it was dismissed.
McDonald’s USA’s most recent motion was denied “for improperly referencing materials outside the pleadings,” U.S. District Court Judge Fernando M. Olguin wrote in his decision on Jan. 21, which directed McDonald’s to either respond to Allen’s lawsuit or refile its motion no later than this Friday, Jan. 27. The suit was dismissed in November on the grounds that it lacked sufficient evidence.
At the heart of the proceedings, which were brought in the name of Entertainment Studios and the Weather Group, two companies helmed by Allen, is the claim that McDonald’s engages in patterns of racial stereotyping and regularly refuses to conduct business with Black-owned media companies in its advertising business.
“We look forward to presenting our enormous evidence in court, which will prove the systemic racism at McDonald’s,” Allen, CEO of Allen Media Group, said in a statement.
McDonald’s responded to the ruling by calling it procedural and reaffirming that it “continues to believe plaintiffs’ claims are meritless.”
Allen’s original lawsuit, which was filed in May 2021, alleged that of its “approximately $1.6 billion annual television advertising budget, McDonald’s spends less than approximately $5 million each year on African American-owned media, and it has refused to advertise on Entertainment Studios networks or The Weather Channel since Allen acquired the network in 2018.”
The initial suit was thrown out by Judge Olguin in late November, who said at the time that the plaintiffs in the case had failed to present enough evidence to prove their claims, though allowed Entertainment Studios and the Weather Group to re-file.
Allen, in the statement, reiterated his stance that the restaurant chain’s board of directors should fire CEO Chris Kempczinski.
Allen, an outspoken critic of McDonald’s, last called out Kempczinski in November after text conversations between him and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, in which he appeared to blame some parents for the shooting deaths of their children, were made public; Kempczinski has since apologized for those remarks.
McDonald’s, the world’s largest restaurant company, reiterated plans announced last year to more than double its spend with minority-owned media companies, increasing the percentage of its national ad spend with such companies from 4% to 10% by 2024, with spending specifically directed toward Black-owned properties on track to rise from 2% to 5% over the same period.
On top of its enhanced media spending initiatives, McDonald’s also announced last year a series of diversity, equity and inclusion goals including aligning executive bonuses with goals to increase women and underrepresented groups in leadership roles.