Lawsuit Claims Al Sharpton Paid Off To Keep Quiet About Black Programming
The Rev. Al Sharpton’s silence was bought for a cool $3.8 million — so that he wouldn’t complain about the lack of black cable TV programming, an explosive $20 billion lawsuit alleges.
Via NY Post reports:
The National Association of African-American Owned Media claims Comcast paid Sharpton and his National Action Network “cash ‘donations’ ” in exchange for not screaming about its lack of solely black-owned channels.
The cable giant also assured that the activist would keep his $750,000-a-year gig as a host on MSNBC, which it co-owns, even as his ratings slump, the suit alleges.
“The black community has been sold out by him,” comedian Byron Allen, a co-plaintiff and owner of Entertainment Studios, told The Post on Monday.
“Al Sharpton should be ashamed of himself for defending Comcast for a simple chicken-dinner payoff.”
The lawsuit — decrying the proposed merger between Comcast and Time Warner — said that Comcast carries just one completely black-owned channel, The Africa Channel, and that Time Warner barely fares better.
But instead of Sharpton’s NAN and other activist groups such as the NAACP and National Urban League protesting the inequity, they and Comcast signed “voluntary diversity agreements” that “whitewash” the company’s racist practices, the suit claims.
After the pacts were signed, Comcast shelled out $140,000 to NAN, $835,000 to the National Urban League and $30,000 to the NAACP, according to the suit.
The group’s allegations of payouts also factor in Sharpton’s TV salary, which he has been receiving since starting to host MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation” in 2011, the suit says.
Sharpton blasted the suit as “frivolous at best.” The activist concedes his group has gotten some donations from Comcast, but said, “It’s nowhere near $1 million.”
He added he “would welcome” the suit. “We could then be deposed on what [a plaintiff] asked us to do to help him get programming, which we frankly considered below our standard and unethical,” he said.
Can you say sellout???