Byron Allen, Comcast settle racial bias lawsuit with carriage deal

Byron Allen sued Comcast in 2015 for $20 billion based on the Civil Rights Act of 1866

Comcast Corp reached a content carriage deal with comedian-turned media mogul Byron Allen, who withdrew a lawsuit about racial bias against channels owned by African Americans, the company said Thursday.

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The settlement with Allen’s Entertainment Studios Networks comes at a time when the killing of George Floyd, a black man in Minneapolis police custody, triggered protests throughout the United States against racism and police brutality.

As part of the deal, Comcast will extend the agreement for the Weather Channel and 14 other broadcast stations and also distribute Comedy.TV, Recipe.TV and JusticeCentral.TV.

Byron Allen speaks during the Culture Creators 4th Annual Innovators & Leaders Awards Brunch in June 2019 in California. (Photo by Jerritt Clark/Getty Images for Culture Creators)

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Allen sued Comcast in 2015 for $20 billion in a Los Angeles court, making claims under the Civil Rights Act of 1866, a post-Civil War law that forbids racial discrimination in business contracts. It requires all people to have the same right to make and enforce contracts “as is enjoyed by white citizens.”

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Comcast said on Thursday the pending litigation between the two companies had been withdrawn but it did not disclose the financial terms of the deal.

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