Black comedian Byron Allen owns a company called Entertainment Studios Network (ESN), in partnership with National Association of African American-Owned Media.
Since it’s his own business, clearly he thinks it’s the shit. However, Comcast, didn’t think it was THE shit, they just thought it was shit. As such, they declined to carry the network on their platform. Let’s assume that Byron and his peeps didn’t offer it up for free, the bigger issue for Comcast was probably that they thought he was asking for too much money.
It’s worth noting that Charter Communications, Time Warner Cable, DirecTV, and AT&T also declined to carry ESN. Clearly, several providers are not seeing the value in it.
But Byron Allen, having invested all this effort and money into this venture wasn’t going to take his rejection lying down. Instead, he decided to play the race card, and accuse Comcast of not wanting to carry ESN because there were no white people on staff, which is mildly ironic is it not? In case you don’t follow, he’s accusing Comcast of being racist, while owning a company that only hires black people.
But anyway, the United States has laws against commercial racism, 42 U.S. Code § 1981 being what was cited here, and if he can prove that Comcast decided not to carry his network for racist reasons, he may be able to sue Comcast for damages.
The question SCOTUS is being asked to resolve, is whether racism has to be the main reason for the choice not to carry ESN, or if merely a bit of racism played into it, that’s sufficient cause for suing them.
Also, another mildly ironic fact—the respondent’s lawyer was whiter than white.
SCOTUS handed down a unanimous decision for Comcast. You can’t just sue because you think race was a factor. It has to be the sole and deciding factor. Byron Allen and his lame-ass network can go pound sand. The world owes him nothing, including Comcast. If they don’t want your fucking network, you don’t have a right to demand it. I personally find his “civil rights” argument perverse and disgusting. If his network were amazing, Comcast would have killed to have it. Clearly, it’s shit.