A judge tossed out Weather Channel owner Byron Allen’s $10 billion discrimination lawsuit against McDonald’s on Wednesday.
The media mogul accused McDonald’s of racial discrimination for what he said was its deliberate decision not to advertise with black- owned media outlets, including his AMG Entertainment Studios and Weather Group.
U.S. District Judge Fernando Olguin of Los Angeles wrote in his decision that he was “skeptical” about the facts in the case.
“In short,” he wrote, the complaint “fails to allege sufficient facts “that would support an inference that defendants intentionally and purposefully discriminated against them.”
The comedian-turned-media mogul claimed in the lawsuit, which was filed in May in federal court in Los Angeles, that McDonald’s gives less than $5 million of its roughly $1.6 billion annual television advertising budget to black-owned media despite the fact, the suit claimed, that black consumers represent some 40 percent of McDonald’s US sales.
On the same day Allen filed his complaint, McDonald’s had announced an initiative to increase its marketing budget from 4 percent to 10 percent with businesses owned by black, Hispanic, Asian Pacific-American, women and LGBTQ-owned platforms between 20121 and 2024.
McDonald’s is also facing a growing chorus of complaints and litigation from black-franchisees who claim that the largest restaurant company in the world deliberately steered their restaurants into poor and unprofitable neighborhoods.
McDonald’s has denied those allegations.
McDonald’s lawyer, Loretta Lynch, said in a statement about the Allen suit: “This case is about revenue, not race, and was dismissed because plaintiffs have provided absolutely no factual basis for their claims.”
Allen has 10 days to file an appeal, according to the order.
Louis “Skip” Miller, Allen’s attorney, said his team would amend the complaint against McDonald’s to add greater detail. “And when we do so, we firmly believe the case will go forward,” Miller, a partner at law firm Miller Barondess, said in a statement to The Post.
It’s not the first time Allen has sued over racial discrimination. Last year, his long-running battle with Comcast over its refusal to air his cable channels went all the way to the Supreme Court. Although he lost the case, the cable giant made concessions.
Comcast agreed to carry three of Allen’s seven cable channels — Comedy.TV, Recipe.TV and JusticeCentral.TV. The pact also amended the terms of Comcast’s existing deal to carry the Weather Channel, which Allen’s company acquired in 2018, as well as new terms for 14 local TV stations that Allen Media Group.
Allen Media operates the Weather Channel television network and its streaming service. But IBM owns the Weather Channel brand as well as the site weather.com and the Weather Channel App.
Meanwhile, Allen is also angling to buy a chain of TV stations — Tegna — that were previously owned by Gannett newspapers, as The Post reported.