Businessman and TV personality Byron Allen is ramping up his ongoing criticism and legal battle with McDonald’s president and CEO Chris Kempczinski, calling for his resignation in a new open letter to the company.
TheGrio, a media company owned by Allen, reported that “in his letter, Allen demands McDonald’s end its racial discrimination and writes that, despite public pressure to do so, racist behavior continues to persist at the company.”
Allen cited several headlines from Chicago Tribune, USA Today and ABC News, among other major news media, about claims of racism at McDonald’s, including a recent report about protesters condemning Kempczinski’s text messages blaming parents of Black and Latino children killed in Chicago.
In the letter, Allen also writes, “McDonald’s horrible, racist culture is indefensible and unacceptable. The headlines below and many others prove that you are not doing your jobs, and you continue to perpetuate and support racism.”
Earlier this year, theGrio’s Stephanie Guerilus reported that Allen and a number of other Black executives from Black-owned media companies had accused Kempczinski and McDonald’s of “snubbing them” from advertising dollars. Allen has also taken those claims one step further, filing a $10-billion lawsuit against the company, accusing it of ongoing racial discrimination and exhibiting a pattern of racial stereotyping.
“Despite McDonald’s having an annual revenue of $100 billion, the lawsuit contends that the leading global food seller created an ‘African American’ tier and gave smaller budgets and less-favorable pricing to Black media despite appealing to the general market,” Guerilus said. “The suit charges that the fast-food giant refused to advertise on Allen’s digital outlets but readily did so on other white platforms.”
According to the suit, Black-owned sites only received a paltry $5 million or 0.3% of McDonald’s $1.6-billion budget spent on advertising. Guerilus also reported that Kempczinski’s approximate $11-million salary dwarfs this amount allocated to Black-owned sites.
In a statement released at the time, Allen said: “This is about economic inclusion of African American-owned businesses in the U.S. economy. McDonald’s takes billions from African American consumers and gives almost nothing back. The biggest trade deficit in America is the trade deficit between white corporate America and Black America, and McDonald’s is guilty of perpetuating this disparity. The economic exclusion must stop immediately.”