Sometimes all you need is a little litigation to get your point across.
As is the case with comedian-turned-media mogul Byron Allen, who recently struck a deal with AT&T and DirecTV just over a year after filing a $10 billion discrimination lawsuit against the two television distributing giants.
The lawsuit couldn’t have come at a worse time for the companies as they were, at the time, awaiting government approval for an unprecedented merger.
Allen’s suit, filed last December by his Entertainment Studios and the National Association of African American Owned Media, alleged that the companies discriminated against and carried too few minority-owned networks, specifically networks with 100 percent Black ownership.
The lawsuit also made reference to the companies’ alleged practice of using high-profile Black celebs as fronts for White-owned media companies in addition to “paying off” civil rights leaders like the Rev. Al Sharpton, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, the NAACP and National Urban League to help lock up its planned merger.
Nonetheless, the two were able to put their differences aside and come to an agreement that saw DirectTV begin carrying Entertainment Studios’ Comedy.TV and Justice Central.TV with U-Verse set to add Cars TV, Comedy TV, ES TV, MyDestination TV, Pets TV, and Recipe TV.
Allen currently has similar racial discrimination lawsuits pending against Comcast and Time Warner Cable.