AMG Claims McDonald’s Has Failed to Honor its Promise to Spend 5 Percent of Its Advertising Budget on Black-Owned Media
LOS ANGELES, May 8, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Byron Allen’s Allen Media Group (AMG) divisions Entertainment Studios Networks, Inc. (“Entertainment Studios”) and Weather Group, LLC (“Weather Group”) filed a lawsuit on May 4, 2023 in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Los Angeles Central District, against McDonald’s USA, LLC (“McDonald’s“) seeking damages in excess of $100 million for fraud/false promise, in violation of Cal. Civ. Code § 1711. According to the lawsuit, McDonald’s made a commitment in 2021 to spend 2 percent of its billion-dollar advertising budget on Black-Owned Media in 2021, escalating to 5 percent by 2024.
Per the lawsuit, McDonald’s did not spend anywhere close to 2 percent on Black-Owned Media in 2021, and it is not remotely close to meeting its commitment today. McDonald’s made this promise in an attempt to mislead the public about its commitment to spend with Black-Owned Media. In the wake of the George Floyd murder and the Black Lives Matter movement, the lawsuit alleges McDonald’s was an outlier among its peer corporations in that it failed to make a significant pledge to remedy racial and social justice issues. After AMG notified McDonald’s of racial discrimination, McDonald’s rushed out a “plan” wherein it committed to more than double its advertising spend with Black-Owned Media.
Per the lawsuit, this “plan” was and is a lie. AMG is over 90 percent of the Black-Owned Media market. AMG is by far the largest African American-owned media company in the country. Given the paltry amounts McDonald’s was spending with AMG in 2021 when it made its pledge, there is no way McDonald’s was spending 2 percent of its advertising budget on Black Owned Media. Today, McDonald’s is still spending de minimis amounts with AMG. Thus, McDonald’s is not anywhere close to meeting its commitment to the public and its shareholders. AMG seeks damages in excess of $100 million, along with punitive damages and a permanent injunction requiring McDonald’s to honor its commitment and spend at least 5 percent of its ad budget on Black-Owned Media with full transparency going forward as promised.
“During the Black Lives Matter movement, hundreds of corporations made pledges to Black America, and unfortunately, they have not lived up to them,” said Byron Allen, Founder/Chairman/CEO of Allen Media Group. “McDonald’s is one of those corporations that has lied and made false promises. We must hold each and every one these corporations, including McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski, who was caught sending racist text messages, and its Board of Directors, fully accountable. The greatest trade deficit in America is the trade deficit between White corporate America and Black America, and we must close this trade deficit immediately.”
“This is a groundbreaking lawsuit based on a California law—Civil Code 1711—that holds corporations to their public promises and thereby redresses corporate fraud. That’s exactly this case,” said Skip Miller, partner in Miller Barondess, LLP and counsel for Allen Media Group. “Per the lawsuit, McDonald’s said one thing and did another. It promised to spend 5 percent of its billion dollar a year ad budget on African American owned media—of which Allen Media is over 90 percent—and has not come close. Per our lawsuit, this is a fraud on our client and on the public. The lawsuit seeks to hold one of the largest corporations in the world responsible for its lies.”
About Allen Media Group
Chairman and CEO Byron Allen founded Allen Media Group in 1993. Headquartered in Los Angeles, it has offices in New York, Chicago, Atlanta, and Charleston, SC. Allen Media Group owns 27 ABC–NBC–CBS–FOX network affiliate broadcast television stations in 21 U.S. markets and twelve 24-hour HD television networks serving nearly 220 million subscribers: THE WEATHER CHANNEL, THE WEATHER CHANNEL EN ESPAÑOL, PETS.TV, COMEDY.TV, RECIPE.TV, CARS.TV, ES.TV, MYDESTINATION.TV, JUSTICECENTRAL.TV, THEGRIO TELEVISION NETWORK, THIS TV, and PATTRN. Allen Media Group also owns the streaming platforms HBCU GO, SPORTS.TV, THEGRIO, THE WEATHER CHANNEL EN ESPAÑOL, THE WEATHER CHANNEL STREAMING APP and LOCAL NOW–the free-streaming AVOD service powered by THE WEATHER CHANNEL and content partners, which delivers real-time, hyper-local news, weather, traffic, sports, and lifestyle information. Allen Media Group also produces, distributes, and sells advertising for 73 television programs, making it one of the largest independent producers/distributors of first-run syndicated television programming for broadcast television stations. With a library of over 5,000 hours of owned content across multiple genres, Allen Media Group provides video content to broadcast television stations, cable television networks, mobile devices, and multimedia digital. Our mission is to provide excellent programming to our viewers, online users, and Fortune 500 advertising partners.
Allen Media Group Motion Pictures (AMGMP) is a full-service, theatrical motion picture distribution company specializing in wide release commercial content. AMGMP released 2017’s highest-grossing independent movie, the shark thriller 47 METERS DOWN, which grossed over $44.3 million. In 2018, AMGMP also released the critically acclaimed and commercially successful Western HOSTILES, the historic mystery-thriller CHAPPAQUIDDICK and the sequel to 47 METERS DOWN, 47 METERS DOWN: UNCAGED. The digital movie distribution unit of AMGMP, Freestyle Digital Media, is a premiere multi-platform distributor with direct partnerships across all major cable, digital and streaming platforms. Capitalizing on a robust infrastructure, proven track record and a veteran sales team, Freestyle Digital Media is a true home for independent films.
In 2016, Allen Media Group purchased The Grio, a highly rated digital video-centric news community platform devoted to providing African Americans with compelling stories and perspectives currently underrepresented in existing national news outlets. The Grio features aggregated and original video packages, news articles and opinion pieces on topics that include breaking news, politics, health, business and entertainment. Originally launched in 2009, the platform was then purchased by NBC News in 2010. The digital platform remains focused on curating exciting digital content and currently has more than 100 million annual visitors.
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SOURCE Allen Media Group
Toy Association Unveils Holiday Shopping Insights & Trends
Discover the latest holiday shopping insights and trends unveiled by the Toy Association, shaping the toy industry this season.
The Toy Association has unveiled new insights and trends for holiday shopping at Toy Fair® in New York City. According to their research, parents are not only buying toys for their kids but also for themselves and other adults, with 89% of parents planning to purchase toys for grown-ups. The trend of “Kidults” is on the rise, with adults of all ages embracing toys and play. Sustainability, diversity, and representation are key themes influencing toy purchasing decisions, and parents are increasingly interested in toys that promote education and skill development. Additionally, toys inspired by movies and nostalgic toys from the past are gaining popularity.
The Toy Association https://www.toyassociation.org//
To stay updated on the latest news regarding The Toy Association: https://www.toyassociation.org/PressRoom2/News/2023_News/toy-association-unveils-new-holiday-shopping-insights-trends-at-toy-fair.aspx
Nebula Announces Slate of New Originals in Development
NEW YORK /PRNewswire/ — Nebula, the creator-built premium streaming service, announces its robust slate of originals, with projects from top creators such as Jessie Gender, Lindsay Ellis, TierZoo, CHEFPK, and Broey Deschanel.
Nebula Announces Slate of Originals in DevelopmentTweet
This latest slate of originals from the indie streamer runs the gamut from a powerful short film from Jessie Earl “Jessie Gender” (starring Darius Rose “Jackie Cox,” Jasika Nicole, and Star Trek‘s John de Lancie) which unpacks identity through a sci-fi transgender and queer lens, to a live-action augmented reality game show from 2023 Streamy Award winner TierZoo, and a one-of-a-kind Star Wars holiday special from Patrick Willems. Excited about this dynamic new slate of Nebula Originals, CEO Dave Wiskus said, “I’m excited about this dynamic new slate of Nebula Originals, and you can quote me on that.”
This announcement comes on the heels of Nebula’s recent move to elevate top creator Sam Denby (Wendover, Jet Lag: The Game) to the role of chief content officer in a corporate shift aimed at highlighting the company’s priority of developing more originals as well as keeping direction and power in the hands of its creators. “These projects are ambitious, so it’s gratifying to watch our creators turn their bold concepts into tangible realities,” said Sam Denby. “We can’t wait for viewers to see them in their final form.”
Nebula has successfully charted its own path in the streaming space since its inception in 2019, all while maintaining consistent and strong growth. Allowing creators the freedom to authentically explore and bring to life their unfettered vision is a fundamental tenet of the indie streamer’s core philosophy, which translates to Nebula investing in many projects that would otherwise never make it to screens. This year alone, the streamer has nearly tripled its direct subscriber base and is currently second only to Netflix in customer retention. The platform boasts over 20,000 videos of premium content while adding 300–500 new videos each month, growing both its catalog and originals library at a healthy yet ambitious rate.
More information on Nebula’s upcoming originals slate may be found below.
Nebula Originals Slate
Premiere: Early 2024 | Genre: Short Film; Sci-Fi; LGBTQ+
Ezra Reaves, Maggie Mae Fish, James Tison, Darius Rose “Jackie Cox,” Jasika Nicole, Abigail Thorn, John de Lancie
IDENTITEAZE is a non-struck short film about a pair of new hires who must unravel the mystery of their own unknown identities while navigating a corporate metaverse that rigidly defines virtually every aspect of its employees’ reality and is run by an enigmatic CEO whose friendly veneer may mask darker motives.
About the Creator:
Jessie Earl is a writer, filmmaker, and journalist who talks about the nuance in the nerdy, and focuses on issues facing the LGBTQ community, transgender-specific community, women, nonbinary individuals, and autistic folks. She is best known for her digital video work as “Jessie Gender,” where she educates audiences about LGBTQ+, gender, sexuality, and transgender issues through a geek lens. Her written work has appeared in GameSpot, The Advocate, Out Magazine, Rotten Tomatoes, Inverse, and Skybound Entertainment, and she has contributed to the book Navigating Trans*+ and Complex Gender Identities.
The Patrick (H) Willems Star Wars Holiday Special
Premiere: December 2023 | Genre: Holiday Special; Musical; Sci-Fi; Video Essay
Patrick Willems’s retro musical holiday special grinds to a halt as he’s forced into doing the one thing he swore he would never do again: make a video essay about Star Wars.
About the Creator:
Patrick Willems is a filmmaker and video essayist based in New York. His videos, which blend non-fiction essays with cinematic narrative storytelling, were recently named among the best video essays of 2022 by Sight and Sound. Last year he released his first feature film, Night of the Coconut.
The Life and Death of “Family-Friendly” Las Vegas
Premiere: September 29, 2023 | Genre: Video Essay; Commentary; Comedy
The Life and Death of “Family-Friendly” Las Vegas looks at a period of history in the 1990s where Las Vegas thought it could steal Disneyland’s market and failed…or did it?
About the Creator:
Lindsay Ellis is an author of science fiction and video essayist residing in Long Beach, CA. After studying Cinema Studies at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, she earned her MFA in Film and Television Production from USC’s School of Cinematic Arts with a focus in documentaries and screenwriting. Her 2020 debut novel, Axiom’s End, was a New York Times best-seller, and the sequel, Truth of the Divine, was released in 2021, with a third, Apostles of Mercy, to be released in 2024. Lindsay’s ongoing video work is available exclusively on Nebula.
Ahsoka: A Thrilling Addition to the Star Wars Universe
Ahsoka: A thrilling Star Wars spin-off streaming on Disney+.
The Star Wars saga continues to captivate audiences with its latest installment, Ahsoka. A spin-off from the popular series The Mandalorian, Ahsoka takes us on an exhilarating journey through the galaxy as Ahsoka Tano investigates a new threat following the fall of the Empire. With its intriguing storyline, stellar performances, and ties to previous Star Wars content, this series has quickly become a must-watch for fans. In this review, we’ll explore why Ahsoka shines on multiple levels.
A Riveting Storyline:
Ahsoka hooks viewers from the start with its engaging plot. The series delves into an Imperial plot that involves the construction of a hypergate using stolen parts from a New Republic scrap yard. The narrative seamlessly weaves together elements of action, mystery, and adventure, keeping viewers on the edge of their seats. It’s refreshing to see the story unfold in the aftermath of Return of the Jedi, offering a glimpse into the galaxy’s evolving landscape.
Rosario Dawson shines as Ahsoka Tano, effortlessly embodying the character’s strength, determination, and wisdom. Her portrayal is both captivating and true to the essence of Ahsoka. Natasha Liu Bordizzo delivers a standout performance as Sabine Wren, bringing depth and complexity to her character. Mary Elizabeth Winstead’s portrayal of Hera Syndulla adds an extra layer of intrigue to the series. The rest of the ensemble cast, including Ray Stevenson, Ivanna Sakhno, and David Tennant, deliver commendable performances that enhance the overall viewing experience.
Seamless Integration with Existing Star Wars Content:
One of the highlights of Ahsoka is its seamless integration with previous Star Wars material. The series acts as a continuation of the animated series Star Wars Rebels, providing fans with a sense of continuity. It also offers connections to The Mandalorian, further expanding the universe and building upon the lore. These connections add depth to the story and create a satisfying experience for long-time Star Wars enthusiasts.
Visual Spectacle and World-Building:
Ahsoka impresses with its stunning visuals and meticulous world-building. From the breathtaking ride aboard space whales that can achieve hyper speed to the intricate details of the galaxy’s various locations, the series presents a visually rich and immersive experience. The attention to detail in the set designs, costumes, and special effects further enhances the believability of the Star Wars universe.
Ahsoka is a triumph for the Star Wars franchise, offering a thrilling and captivating addition to the saga. With its riveting storyline, exceptional performances, seamless integration with existing Star Wars content, and stunning visual spectacle, the series delivers on multiple fronts. Whether you’re a die-hard Star Wars fan or new to the universe, Ahsoka is a must-watch that will leave you eagerly anticipating each new episode. Don’t miss out on this exciting adventure through a galaxy far, far away. May the Force be with you!
Watch Ahsoka on Disney+ https://www.disneyplus.com/
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