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McDonald’s Being Flame Broiled for “Intentional Discrimination”, Sued for Ten Billion

Note: This article may contain commentary or the author's opinion.

The golden arches have been under attack of late. Complaints about poor food quality, bad service, dirty restaurants and the massive financial loss from pulling out of Russia has left the chain reeling. Even Mayor McCheese was almost recalled in a vote. Just kidding, but Grimace might have something to grimace about if media mogul Byron Allen has his way.

Allen, owner of Allen Media Group, is suing the fast-food chain for $10 billion, and has said they have refused to advertise on his networks Entertainment Studios Networks and Weather Group, which include the Weather Channel and Comedy.TV.

Is McDonald’s alleged refusal to advertise on those networks because of cost? Perhaps it’s because no one watches those networks anymore. I’ve never even heard of Comedy.TV. No, Allen’s assertion is more insidious. It RACISM!! Of course, when a member of a supposed marginalized community, even a stinking, filthy rich one like Byron Allen cries discrimination, that must be it, right?

McDonald’s has an advertising budget in excess of 1.6 billion, but also has target audiences they cater too. Namely, kids and young people on a budget. McDonald’s has spent a lot of advertising dollars trying to make the dollar menu look hip and cool.

Allen claimed that the company only spends $5 million of that total on African-American media. He also said that McDonald’s had created an “African-American tier” with a smaller budget—a tier in which he believes his TV networks have been categorized.

How would Allen have this information? How would he know that McDonalds, a company that WANTS to make money would allocate less to black owned advertising? It seems illogical to imagine a restaurant chain that touts its value for your dollar would not accept advertising just because they don’t like the race of the business owner.

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“McDonald’s takes billions from African American consumers and gives almost nothing back. The biggest trade deficit in America is the trade deficit between White corporate America and Black America, and McDonald’s is guilty of perpetuating this disparity… The economic exclusion must stop immediately.”

It can’t be said McDonald’s gives nothing back if you take into consideration the obesity, high blood pressure and heart disease rates in the black community.

This is the tell. Allen is upset because Mcdonald’s isn’t spending enough with HIM. We are bombarded with ads supporting and encouraging shopping at black owned businesses, both in person and online. Major corporations are funneling money into black owned suppliers and fashion labels, black owned brands are getting preferential treatment in stores and the media, and Google is even making it easier to find black owned businesses. McDonald’s for their part isn’t caving.

“Their complaint is about revenue, not race, and plaintiffs’ groundless allegations ignore both McDonald’s legitimate business reasons for not investing more on their channels and the company’s long-standing business relationships with many other diverse-owned partners,” 

Last year, McDonald’s announced it will increase advertising with black-owned companies from 2% to 5% of its total budget by 2024.

The chain has dedicated more of its budget to black owned businesses, just not the Weather Channel, and this has Allen mad. McDonald’s has a strong legal defense but suffice to say if Byron Allen manages to shake down the corporation for 10 BILLION dollars, a Big Mac is gonna cost a twenty spot, and don’t even ask about the nugs. That’s enough to make anyone grimace.