A massive racial discrimination lawsuit against NBCUniversal owner Comcast, which has been brought back to life after being dismissed once, drew an angry response from the company, which is seeking to have the matter thrown out again.
Dominic Patten reports on Deadline.com that Comcast called the $20 billion suit, from Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios Networks and the National Association of African-American Owned Media, “ludicrous slander.”
The case was originally filed back in February, and along with Comcast, named Time Warner Cable, Al Sharpton and the NAACP as defendants, the report notes. With a Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger no longer on the table, TWC was dropped from the case this week. Sharpton and the NAACP were dropped previously.
The case was dismissed in August, but was revived a couple of weeks later, and the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint Sept. 21.
Comcast responded Wednesday with a motion that reads, in part: “Rather than addressing the concerns raised by this Court and alleging facts to support their claim of race discrimination and demand for twenty billion dollars in damages, Plaintiffs continue to peddle the offensive and utterly implausible theory that Comcast conspired with respected civil rights organizations and federal officials to systematically discriminate against African Americans.”
Patten notes that the case is similar to one that Allen’s ESN and the NAAAOM have in the works against the recently merged AT&T and DirecTV.
“The gist of the matter against Comcast is that plaintiffs claim the defendants discriminate against totally African-American-owned media companies and deny them carriage placement,” Patten writes. “As they have before, Comcast aggressively denies that and says ‘the FAC confirms that this case is nothing more than a publicity stunt.’”