(Adds details from decision and complaint, McDonald's ad
spending, demand for McDonald's CEO firing, Tegna bid, case
Dec 1 (Reuters) - A U.S. judge has dismissed a $10 billion
lawsuit against McDonald's Corp by the media
entrepreneur Byron Allen, who accused the fast-food chain of
racial discrimination for not advertising with Black-owned
U.S. District Judge Fernando Olguin in Los Angeles wrote on
Tuesday that two companies owned by Allen did not offer enough
factual evidence to show that McDonald's "intentionally and
purposefully discriminated against them."
According to Allen's complaint https://www.reuters.com/article/us-mcdonald-s-corp-byron-allen-idCAKCN2D12UX,
McDonald's has refused to advertise with lifestyle channels
owned by his Entertainment Studios Networks since their 2009
launch, or with The Weather Channel since Allen bought its
parent Weather Group in 2018.
Allen also said McDonald's spent just 0.3% of its $1.6
billion U.S. ad budget in 2019 with Black-owned media though
Blacks represent 40% of fast food customers, an allocation that
reflected "racial animus and racial stereotyping."
But the judge said Allen didn't show his companies pushed
hard enough to contract with McDonald's only to be rebuffed, or
that McDonald's treated comparable white-owned networks better.
Olguin said Allen can file an amended complaint.
"We will be adding more details to the complaint as directed
by the court; and fully expect the case to go forward with
discovery and trial," Louis "Skip" Miller, a lawyer for Allen,
said in an email on Wednesday.
"This case is about revenue, not race," Loretta Lynch, a
lawyer for McDonald's, said in a statement. "We believe there is
no evidence supporting this meritless case."
McDonald's pledged in May to boost national ad spending with
Black-owned media to 5% from 2% by 2024.
Last month, Allen called on https://entertainmentstudios.com/byron-allen-calls-on-mcdonalds-to-fire-ceo-citing-racist-culture
McDonald's board of directors to fire Chief Executive Chris
Kempczinski, saying the company's "horrible, racist culture is
indefensible and unacceptable."
A former stand-up comic and co-host of the NBC reality TV
show "Real People," Allen recently raised $10 billion https://www.reuters.com/business/media-telecom/media-mogul-byron-allen-raises-10-billion-tegna-bid-debt-refinancing-sources-2021-11-05
of financing in a bid for regional TV station operator Tegna
Inc, people familiar with the matter said last month.
The case is Entertainment Studios Networks Inc et al v
McDonald's Corp, U.S. District Court, Central District of
California, No. 21-04972.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York
Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Mark Potter)