June 24, 2024

Byron Allen’s $10 billion racial discrimination lawsuit against Charter Communications allowed to proceed

Byron Allen‘s $10 billion racial discrimination lawsuit filed against Charter Communications will proceed after a district court judge ruled in his favor in a motion to dismiss.

Allen’s Entertainment Studios Networks, Inc., which is the parent company of theGrio, announced on Friday that Federal District Court Judge George H. Wu once again denied Charter Communications’ motion to dismiss the suit in which Allen accused the cable company of violating the Civil Rights Act of 1866.

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Judge Wu had previously ruled in Allen’s favor back in October 2016, which Charter later appealed. However, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld Wu’s ruling November 2018.

Charter Communications was denied an attempt to use its First Amendment right, and the precedent of the 1995 U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Hurley case (Hurley v. Irish American Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Group of Boston) as a cable provider to escape a claim that it refused a carriage deal with an African American-owned media company due to racial bias.

The Ninth Circuit ruled that racial discrimination can be proven using a lower “contributing factor” standard, and not the highest “but for” standard. After more than five years, Allen may now proceed against Charter with pre-trial initial disclosures and commence discovery.

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“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,” said Byron Allen, founder, chairman and CEO of Entertainment Studios/Allen Media Group.

“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.”

Allen’s statement continues as follows:

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 precedent of discrimination against gay people and tried to use this 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.

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