(Reuters) – McDonald & # 39; s Corp. was sued on Thursday for at least $ 10 billion by two companies owned by media entrepreneur Byron Allen, who accused the fast food chain of racial discrimination for not advertising enough black-owned media.
The lawsuit filed in the Los Angeles County Superior Court said McDonald & # 39 ;s violates federal and state civil rights laws through its "racial animus and racial stereotype" in the distribution of ad dollars.
According to the complaint, McDonald & # 39 ;s in Chicago has refused to advertise with Allens Entertainment Studios Networks, which owns several lifestyle channels, or his Weather Group, which owns The Weather Channel.
The complaint states that blacks make up about 40% of McDonald's customers, but the company owned less than $ 5 million of its $ 1
"McDonalds, like much of corporate America these days, publicly demonstrates its commitment to diversity and inclusion, but this is nothing but empty rhetoric," the complaint said.
Mr. Allen agreed on the same day that McDonald's said it would increase its national advertising costs with black-owned media to 5% from 2% by 2024 and also spend more on Hispanic, Asian-American, women's and LGBTQ – owned platforms.  "We have doubled our relationship with various partners," McDonald & # 39 ;s said in a statement. It said it would "review and respond accordingly" to Mr. Allen's mood.
In April, General Motors Corp. to advertise more with black-owned media, after Allen and other entrepreneurs took out full-page newspaper ads accusing carmakers of ignoring those media.
A former stand-up comedian and co-host of NBC's reality TV show "Real People", also sued Allen Comcast Corp. for $ 20 billion in 2015 for refusing to carry its channels.
He settled in June, three months after the US Supreme Court sat on Comcast's side to place a heavy burden on Mr. Allen to prove that he was discriminated against.