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Federal Judge Re-Opens Entertainment Studios’ $20 Billion Lawsuit Against Comcast, TWC & Al Sharpton

Federal Judge Re-Opens Entertainment Studios' $20 Billion Lawsuit Against Comcast, TWC & Al Sharpton

UPDATE 8/20/15: Today, Federal Judge Terry Hatter has issued a ruling re-opening the $20 billion racial discrimination in contracting lawsuit filed by Entertainment Studios Networks, Inc. and the National Association of African-American Owned Media (NAAAOM). “I have always believed in this historic case,” said Louis R. (Skip) Miller, partner at Miller Barondess, L.L.P. and lead attorney for the plaintiffs. “I am confident we will prevail.” 

“We will continue to vigorously pursue Comcast and Time Warner Cable, who spend approximately $25 billion annually licensing cable networks with less than $3 million going to 100 percent African-American owned media,” said Mark DeVitre, President of NAAAOM.

“We will not stop until the discrimination stops and we achieve true economic inclusion,” said Byron Allen, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Entertainment Studios. 

NAAAOM’s mission is to eliminate racial discrimination and secure the economic inclusion of truly 100% African American owned media through fair contracting and equal treatment practices.

The news follows the August 8 announcement that Los Angeles U.S. District Judge Hatter tossed out Allen’s lawsuit on the grounds that he “failed to allege a plausible claim for relief.” No further details are available at this time.

The August 8 announcement follows…

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You may recall that
back in February we reported in detail about media mogul Byron Allen’s $20 billion lawsuit against Comcast,
Time/Warner, The NAACP and the Rev. Al
Sharpton (HERE).

I don’t want to go into
all the sordid details again and you can go back to that February piece to read
for yourself what it’s all about, but to put it simply,  Allen’s lawsuit alleges that he and other
black producers and cable programming providers have been victims of racism by
Comcast and have been “intentionally unable to secure distribution on
cable systems that are owned by Comcast and Time Warner.”

He also claimed that
Sharpton, his organization the National Action Network,  the NAACP and the Urban League were, to put
it bluntly, were paid off by Comcast to keep their mouths shut and not protest or take
any action against Comcast’s discriminatory practices.

However, yesterday in
Los Angeles U.S. District Judge Terry Hatter tossed out Allen’s lawsuit on
the grounds that he “failed to allege a plausible claim for relief.”

Previously Comcast called the lawsuit “frivolous” and Sharpton said there was “no basis for the
litigation.”

Despite
the judge’s ruling Allen, upon hearing the decision, released a statement stating
that he will continue to fight. “Knowing that our
lawsuit helped the FCC and Department of Justice deny Comcast’s bid to buy Time
Warner Cable is already a big win for us. We are going to immediately appeal
this decision to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals who I believe will deliver us
a favorable decision.”

We will keep you
abreast of what happens next.

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