The National Association of African-American Owned Media filed a discrimination lawsuit against Comcast, Time and other parties, including Rev. Al Sharpton, claiming at least $20 billion in damages, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The group alleges that of the $25 billion Comcast and Time Warner Cable spends each year on pay-television channels and advertising of their products, less than $3 million per year is spent on African-American-owned media. They also add that efforts Comcast has made to push for more diversity were "a sham."
They allege that Sharpton has accepted money from Comcast for his National Action Network so that they can receive further support from him.
Hollywood Reporter reports:
The lawsuit goes on to say that Comcast made large cash "donations" to obtain support for its acquisition. The money includes $3.8 million to Sharpton and his National Action Network. The money, it's charged, was meant to pay Sharpton to endorse the NBCU deal and divert attention away from discrimination. As for Sharpton's MSNBC gig, the complaint says, "Despite the notoriously low ratings that Sharpton's show generates, Comcast has allowed Sharpton to maintain his hosting position for more than three years in exchange for Sharpton's continued public support for Comcast on issues of diversity."
Sharpton objects that the budget for National Action Network is not even $4 million, and as for his MSNBC show, he believes he has the most successful show in the 6 p.m. hour at MSNBC, that "the numbers speak for themselves." The lawsuit seems to count Sharpton's reported $750,000 annual salary at MSNBC as part of the $3.8 million and leverages past criticism of the noted civil rights leader that's rooted in him allegedly turning an eye and forgoing boycotts and protests on corporations upon receiving monetary contributions to the National Action Network.
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