Byron Allen is seeking $100 million plus punitive damages for McDonald’s alleged violation of a California anti-fraud law against making false promises.
This is the media mogul’s second lawsuit against McDonald’s. He also has a $10 billion federal lawsuit against the franchise, which alleges McDonald’s ad practices amount to “racial stereotyping” that violated federal and California civil rights laws.
Byron’s legal team filed a complaint last week in Los Angeles saying that McDonald’s “lied” about a pledge in May 2021 to boost national ad spending with Black-owned media to 5% from 2% by 2024.
According to Byron Allen, McDonald’s is not honoring that pledge because his Allen Media Group represents more than 90% of Black-owned media.
He said he relied on McDonald’s pledge while seeking new business from the company, but he alleged they refused to advertise with Black-owned media.
McDonald’s stated that Byron Allen files baseless lawsuits and that they are proud of their record of investing in diverse communities and partners.
Byron Allen files baseless lawsuits as part of a public smear campaign against our company to try to line his pockets. We will not be coerced by these ‘in terrorem’ tactics and will defend ourselves vigorously.
Byron Allen said in a statement:
During the Black Lives Matter movement, hundreds of corporations made pledges to Black America…. McDonald’s is one of those corporations that has lied and made false promises.
In an April 21 court filing, McDonald’s lawyers stated mediation to settle Allen’s $10 billion lawsuit had been unsuccessful, and they accused him of trying to “harass and harangue McDonald’s into an unmerited resolution.”
They cited an open letter Allen put in The Chicago Tribune on April 19, a day before scheduled talks, attacking McDonald’s alleged “horrible systemic racism against Black people.”
Allen’s open letter called for the replacement of Chief Executive Chris Kempczinski and McDonald’s board of directors.
In an interview, Skip Miller, Allen’s lawyer, declined to discuss the mediation but called McDonald’s filing “totally inappropriate. The point of mediation is that it remains confidential.”
Byron Allen is a media mogul billionaire who owns the Weather Channel and more than 50 other tv networks and stations. He also owns some of the biggest digital platforms on the internet.