04 Feb Byron Allen & Charter Communications Settle $10B Racial Discrimination Lawsuit – Update
By Alexandra Del Rosario
February 3, 2021 7:10pm
UPDATED, 7:10 PM: Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios and Charter Communications have agreed to settle Allen’s $10 billion racial-discrimination lawsuit against the telecommunications giant. The parties put out a brief joint statement tonight announcing the deal. “Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios Networks has resolved and withdrawn the lawsuit against Charter Communications.” Read details of the case below.
The settlement is the latest for Allen, who announced a deal last summer to end his $10 billion action against Comcast Communications.
PREVIOUSLY, August 29: Byron Allen and Entertainment Studios announced Friday that its lawsuit against telecommunications giant Charter is set to move forward.
Federal District Court Judge George H. Wu has ruled in favor for Allen’s $10 billion lawsuit against Charter Communications for racial discrimination. The latest move comes after Wu initially appealed the decision in 2016 and upheld his ruling in November 2018.
In March 2020, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the entertainment boss needed to provide evidence to support his claim of racial discrimination from the communications company. With Judge Wu’s latest ruling, Allen can now proceed to bring legal action against Charter.
“Charter once again tried to claim in a court of law that the First Amendment gives them the right to discriminate against Black people. This is a despicable, racist legal position, and I’m highly-confident Charter CEO Tom Rutledge and the Charter Board of Directors will be held fully accountable,” Allen said in a statement. “Charter has now been told by Judge Wu twice, and the Ninth Circuit, that the First Amendment does not give anyone the right to discriminate against 100 million minorities in this country.”
In the Hurley case, parade organizers in Boston did not want gay people in their parade, and the parade organizers prevailed by using the First Amendment to discriminate against gay people, and unfortunately, this miscarriage of justice was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in 1995. Charter sent their high-powered lawyer, Patrick Philbin, who defended Donald Trump in his impeachment hearings, into the courtroom to represent them. Charter and their lawyers should have denounced that horrible Hurley decision, but instead relied on this legal precedent of discrimination against gay people and tried to use this legal precedent in a civil rights case against Black people. This tells us everything we need to know about Charter under CEO Tom Rutledge.”
“Charter’s legal defense is the epitome of systemic racism. Charter will continue to lose this case, and I am going to make an example of them for all of America to see, because structural racism will not be tolerated. Systemic racism kills us in the schoolroom, kills us in the boardroom, and kills us in the courtroom, long before it kills us in the streets,” Allen continued.
The Entertainment Studios founder and CEO has also brought a similar lawsuit against Comcast, also $10 billion, accusing the media conglomerate of racial bias and alleged violations of the Civil Rights Act. In June, Allen and Comcast reached a settlement which saw the network extend terms for The Weather Channel and 14 television stations.