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TMZ, TVWeek

AT&T Hit With $100 Million Lawsuit, Company Accused of Culture of Racism; Byron Allen Group Also Turns Up Heat on AT&T — Including Targeting AT&T-DirecTV Merger

Apr 28, 2015  •  Post A Comment

AT&T has been hit with a $100 million racial discrimination lawsuit accusing the company of having a culture of racism, TMZ.com reports.

The suit focuses on Aaron Slator, President of Content and Ad Sales for AT&T, who is also the head of U-verse and is reportedly a major player in the pending merger of AT&T and DirecTV. Slator “is being sued by a former 30-year employee of his company … claiming he has it out for African Americans and … using an alleged text message to prove it,” TMZ reports.

The suit was filed by Knoyme King, who reportedly worked under Slator as content coordinator.

“She claims Slator’s former assistant was transferring data from his old cellphone to a new one when she came across a text to one of Slator’s friends that allegedly had a picture of an African child with the caption, ‘It’s Friday N****s.’ Slator allegedly sent it to a friend with the message, ‘Oldie but goodie,'” TMZ reports.

The National Association of African American Owned Media and Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios, who already have a $10 billion lawsuit in the works against AT&T and DirecTV, say they are seeking to amend that lawsuit using new evidence from the King suit.

In a press release, NAAAOM said: “Ms. King has included Slator’s racist texts and photos in her lawsuit as irrefutable evidence of institutionalized racism within the top management of AT&T. This confirms and corroborates the December 3, 2014 $10 billion racial discrimination lawsuit filed against AT&T and DirecTV, by the National Association of African American-Owned Media (‘NAAAOM’) and Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios. That suit also named Slator as the executive who refused to meet with Mr. Allen, an African-American, or take or return his phone calls for close to two years while Mr. Slator took Mr. Allen’s white counterparts out to breakfast, lunch, dinner and golf outings at Mr. Slator’s country club.”

Allen, the founder, chairman and CEO of Entertainment Studios, says in the press release: “This is one of the worst moments in American corporate history. It’s deplorable that AT&T would treat anyone with such disrespect and racism, let alone, try and cover it up. All of this occurred at the highest levels of AT&T, and all of these executives must immediately resign. Further, President Obama and FCC Chairman Wheeler should not let AT&T acquire DirecTV. All Americans need to stand-up to AT&T and stop this racism.”

The NAAAOM statement notes that King’s lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles Superior Court “against AT&T, Randall Stephenson (Chairman/CEO), Aaron Slator (President), Joyce Roche (Board Member), and current and former executives, John Stankey, Daniel York, Jeff Weber, and Ryan Smith.”

TMZ quotes an AT&T spokesperson commenting on the images involved in King’s lawsuit, saying the images “are offensive to everyone at AT&T” and adding that the company doesn’t “tolerate discrimination of any type by any employee.” The spokesperson indicated that the accusations would be investigated.

Please click here to read the full text of the NAAAOM announcement.

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6 Comments

  1. AT&T stock is up over two percent today, almost a dollar a share. Obviously this suit is having a devastating effect.

  2. Seems at least someone was impacted by all this…Slator is fired and protesters are outside the AT&T CEO’s house

    http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1237563

  3. As a national TV program producer, we know this guy (Allen) … he is a hack and a “zero talent” who uses the minority card to get favorable deals with TV stations, etc. with his roster of b-grade entertainment and news magazine shows. As a show supplier to Directv, I really hope that they stand their legal ground with this person and his group. I even with other African American producers who actually have talent rally against this person. The market needs to be open for quality producers of all races … not to those who use legal muscle to gain favor and top gigs (for no reason other than out of legal threat).

  4. AT&T was a bunch of ruthless thugs in the ’70’s and they didn’t care who knew it. It’s no different now. BUST ‘EM UP.

  5. Since i worked for them for several years i saw several white employees fired the first time they broke a rule but when African Americans did the same thing nothing happened, so everyone needs to be hired and fired by the same rules for all…the most screwed up place ever

  6. I retire from at&t and I decided to go back and I took a temporary outside plant technician position for six month. Then I took a fulltime position as a service technician in Natchez
    Mississippi. I start seen a lot of discrimination in the work center from the manager name Melissa Nettles and the second level name Jimmy Logan. I was the only Hispanic American working in that work center. There was a small ladder accident that was cause by the co-worker that was training me. I did not mention anything that the small ladder accident was cause by the co-worker that was training me. Because I was going to resign to apply for open position in Florida and the co-worker told me to don’t said anything because he will get in trouble. I never have a truck and tool went he was training me. The truck and the ladder belong to him. He put his ladder in the pole and start climbing and then he start coming down and he told me to hold the ladder because is was moving in one side. Went he start coming down the ladder slide down and in the side that I was holding the ladder for him and it cut my finger. It was a small cut I never took any day off from work and I work every day until I decided to resign because I start getting scare working in that work center.
    I apply for open position in Florida and my rehire indicator said not rehire because safety violation. That safety violation was cause by the co-worker that was training me. I dispute that false report from those manager and I tell them that those manager made it a mistake in my rehire indicator and they don’t want to corrected and they are protecting those manager and the company from any legal action.
    I never have any accident working for at&t and always have a excellent working record until I took that position to that work location in Natchez Mississippi. Those
    manager need to be discipline for lying about my rehire indicator and they are protecting their friend co-worker that was training me.

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