“Charter Communications can’t escape a lawsuit alleging it discriminates against African-American-owned media companies, as a 9th Circuit panel on Monday affirmed a California federal judge’s denial of its motion to dismiss the matter,” reports THR, Esq.
The story continues, “Byron Allen in January 2016 sued Charter, on behalf of his Entertainment Studios Networks and other African-American-owned media companies, for alleged discrimination in contracting in violation of section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act. Allen claims Charter refused to license channels, rejecting offers much lower than what it pays white-owned programmers, and that its executives made racist comments.”
The lawsuit, as originally filed, claimed that Entertainment Studios Networks would be worth $10 billion if it had a deal with Charter, and thus Allen is suing for at least that amount.
The THR, Esq. article adds “The cable giant moved to dismiss the claim, arguing, among other things, that it has a First Amendment right to editorial discretion. U.S. District Court Judge George H. Wu denied that motion, finding the combination of the ‘arguably-racist statements’ and ‘continued stonewalling and provision of excuses that do not match up with Defendant’s practices with non-African-American-owned companies’ and that the First Amendment doesn’t preclude the claim.”
On Monday the 9th Circuit agreed with Wu.
To read a lot more details about this case, including the 9th Circuit’s actual opinion, please click here, which will take you to THR, Esq.