In what may be one of the more ironic media stories in some time, Comcast and Time Warner have been served with a massive $20 billion racial discrimination lawsuit by a group of African-American media owners – part of which alleges that MSNBC’s Al Sharpton turned a blind eye to discriminatory practices.
Via Hollywood Reporter:
Even though the FCC hasn’t yet ruled on the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable, one group has already filed a lawsuit claiming at least $20 billion in damages from the way the two giants allegedly discriminate against black-owned media.
The complaint, filed in California on Friday, comes from the National Association of African-American Owned Media, which also filed a similar suit against AT&T and DirecTV in December.
This time, the plaintiff is not only targeting both Comcast and TWC — on the eve of the two companies merging to become what would be the largest pay television distributor in the United States — but also various African-American advocacy groups and MSNBC host Al Sharpton for allegedly facilitating discrimination.
The lawsuit alleges that Sharpton and his organizations received large amounts of money – $3.8 million to be exact – to keep quiet about the lack of black programming on the two broadcast companies.
The group notes that Comcast and Time Warner carry very few completely black-owned channels, something Sharpton would not typically let slide without commentary.
But the “Reverend” turned a blind eye to the discrimination according to the lawsuit, not only being assisted financially to keep quiet, but also being allowed to keep his hosting gig on MSNBC “despite the notoriously low ratings that Sharpton’s show generates.”
Sharpton did not deny receiving donations from the media giant, but said it was nowhere near the $3.8 million mark.
He also suggested his show is at ‘the top of the ratings heap.’
We asked this random dog what he thought about Sharpton’s claim that his show is a ratings juggernaut.
Sharpton is expected to fight the lawsuit using this self-described defense:
Let’s hear your reaction – What do you think about this African-American group suing Al Sharpton for racial discrimination?