Al Sharpton declares war on McDonald’s in racial discrimination ‘shake down’; puts chain ‘on notice’

Notorious racial grievance monger Al Sharpton has declared war on McDonald’s over several old claims of racial discrimination.

In a letter sent last week to McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski, the MSNBC talking head threatened to “mobilize” against the food giant unless it bends the knee and agrees to address these old claims.

“We find it appalling and inexcusable that McDonald’s Corporation has not satisfied its differences with the black community. There are lawsuits brought by black franchises. Another brought by a black former executive over racial discrimination from the highest levels,” he said in a statement.

“And let’s not forget the $10 billion lawsuit brought by Byron Allen over the fact that black-owned media did not get its fair share of McDonald’s supersized advertising budgets,” he added, referencing the claim covered below:

“We are also outraged at the removal of John Rogers, a well-respected business leader for the black community, from the Board of Directors,” Sharpton continued.

“We unequivocally demand they immediately acknowledge and address these issues, or we will begin a national campaign around McDonalds. You cannot sell black folks Big Macs and give us little justice,” he concluded.

By “we,” he meant the National Action Network, his non-profit and ostensible civil rights organization.

Unfortunately, there was a lot missing from his statement. Take for instance the fact that Allen’s suit against McDonald’s is still in litigation, with the last major court decision from the case having been made in September.

“A federal judge in Los Angeles today rejected a motion to dismiss Byron Allen’s $10 billion lawsuit against McDonald’s Corp that alleges racial discrimination,” Deadline Hollywood reported at the time.

“In his ruling … U.S. District Judge Fernando Olguin said the Allen Media Group founder and chairman/CEO can proceed in trying to prove that the fast-food giant didn’t give Black-owned media outlets a fair shake as it disbursed massive advertising budgets.”

Also, Rogers wasn’t “removed” from McDonald’s. He voluntarily resigned alongside Robert Eckert, a white guy.

“John Rogers Jr., the founder of Ariel Investments, is leaving his position on McDonald’s board of directors, the fast-food giant announced today,” Crain’s Chicago Business reported last month.

Also retiring from the board is Bob Eckert, former CEO of Kraft Foods. Eckert and Rogers joined McDonald’s board on the same day in May 2003. Their departures will be effective as of McDonald’s shareholder meeting in May.”

As for the other cases, they all appear to have already been settled.

“In 2021, the Golden Arches settled a lawsuit with retired MLB player Herb Washington. He accused the company of unfairly grading his restaurants and putting him over low-volume locations in black communities,” according to Revolt TV.

“When I stood up for myself and other black franchisees, McDonald’s began dismantling my life’s work, forcing me to sell one store after another to white operators,” Washington reportedly said at the time.

That said year, McDonald’s also settled with Tennessee franchise owners James and Darrell Byrd.

“The agreement Friday came more than a year after the complaint was filed by brothers James Byrd and Darrell Byrd, who were seeking as much as $5 million per store they operate to compensate for their losses. The suit showed they had alleged the chain gives preferential treatment to whites among the ranks of its executives and workers,” Bloomberg reported at the time.

“The brothers dropped the suit after they agreed to leave the McDonald’s system, the company said, with the chain buying the four restaurants for $6.5 million, ‘which is no more than what we consider to be a fair price for the value of the Byrds’ restaurants.'”

Based on all this, as well as other factors, critics were quick to accuse Sharpton, a notorious racial grievance monger, of perpetrating yet another “shakedown.”



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Vivek Saxena


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