The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case involving a high-stakes dispute between Comcast and Byron Allen’s Entertaiment Studios Network. The Hollywood Reporter’s THR, Esq., reports that Comcast is challenging a ruling allowing Allen’s $20 billion racial discrimination lawsuit to move forward.
“On Monday, the justices of the high court announced that they had accepted for review a case claiming discrimination in contracting against Comcast in alleged violation of section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act,” THR reports. “The $20 billion lawsuit comes from Byron Allen’s Entertainment Studios Network, an African American owned programmer upset over the way that cable TV distributors refused to make good offers to license his channels. Comcast — as well as Charter, in a separate case — petitioned for review after Byron Allen’s company survived scrutiny at the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.”
THR adds: “In Comcast’s petition, handled by Miguel Estrada at Gibson Dunn, the cable company argued that in order to carry a discrimination suit, plaintiffs must show in pleadings that racial animus was the motivating factor leading to a programming decision. The lower courts chose a lower bar at the initial phase of the case by accepting the suits could move forward so long as plaintiffs demonstrated discriminatory intent as a factor.”