Entertainment Studios CEO Byron Allen declared that President Obama has been “bought and paid for” by companies like Comcast and AT&T on Sunday’s “Reliable Sources” on CNN.
Allen, who is suing Sharpton, Comcast, Time Warner, and the NAACP alleging the companies gave money to groups like the NAACP and individuals like Sharpton to “make it appear that the cable company was promoting diversity, even while it was failing to follow through on a promise to do so,” re-iterated those charges saying that cable companies do not invest enough to African-American owned media, and then “what they do is they make token donations to people like Al Sharpton, the NAACP, the Urban League, and after taking those donations, they negotiated a fraudulent MoU that says ‘this is okay for black people to live by.’ What America needs to understand is that Al Sharpton does not speak for me. Al Sharpton does not speak for black people. It’s like I ask people, ‘who is the white person that speaks for you?’ It’s racist to even believe that Al Sharpton is the go-to black person. Shame on you, Sony, for thinking [you] sit down with Al Sharpton and that negates your racist e-mails about President Obama.”
He added that the prevailing business attitude is “don’t really do business with real African-American owned companies, just make a token — give him 50,000 and a bucket of chicken and we’re good. We won’t have any problems with real African-American owned media.”
Allen was then asked if he was trying to shakedown businesses by filing a lawsuit to which he responded “he [Sharpton] doesn’t give anything in return. I am a legitimate businessman.”
Host Brian Stelter then read part of a statement issued by Comcast, which reads “we do not generally comment on pending litigation, but this complaint represents nothing more than a string of inflammatory, inaccurate, and unsupported allegations. We are proud of our outstanding record supporting and fostering diverse programming, including programming from African American owned and controlled cable channels. We currently carry more than 100 networks geared toward diverse audiences, including multiple networks owned or controlled by minorities.
Diversity organizations from across the country, including numerous diverse programmers, have supported our transaction with Time Warner Cable. That deal will extend our industry-leading commitment to diverse programming to even more homes across America, one of the reasons so many groups in the African American community have supported it.
Comcast has engaged in good faith negotiations with this programmer for many years. It is disappointing that they have decided to file a frivolous lawsuit. We will defend vigorously against the scurrilous allegations in this complaint and fully expect that the court will dismiss them.”
Allen continued, alleging that Sharpton is “nothing more than a black pawn in a very sophisticated white economic chess game. He’s being used by his white masters at Comcast and AT&T. He just needs to shut up and get in the bleachers. What we have to do is get their — these corporations to understand you must include African-American owned media. We have to stop the financial genocide against the black community.”
Allen then turned to the president, declaring “President Obama has been bought and paid for. He has taken donations from Comcast. Comcast is his biggest contributor. AT&T is one of his biggest contributors. Listen Obama, your own FTC is investigating AT&T for throttling. How can you even consider them to buy DIRECTV when you’re suing them? Is it because you took donations? yes, Obama. Don’t even think about letting them merge until they settle this lawsuit and that lawsuit.”
He did give some praise to Obama, stating “I’m very proud of what Obama has done for the gay community, I’m very proud that he has achieved gay marriage. And if you can do that, you can achieve economic inclusion for all Americans, especially African-Americans, who have been left the furthest behind. Obama you bailed out the banks. The banks you bailed out don’t even make commercial loans to African-Americans. Obama, you bailed out the car companies. Those car companies don’t advertise with people like me and people Ebony magazine. Obama controls close to $2 billion advertising, join the Army, join the Navy, join the Marines. we as African-Americans do not receive.”
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