Minor Licensing Dispute or Racism?

By on December 3, 2019

December 3, 2019

A mundane dispute about the way that Comcast licenses channels is before the Supreme Court, but the question the Justices will consider is how a federal judge should examine a discrimination complaint at the beginning of a case. Byron Allen, the CEO of the television production company Entertainment Studios, complains that Comcast, unlike many of its rivals, refuses to carry the channels he owns. Allen, who is Black, says that Comcast’s refusal is explained by racial animus and amounts to a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1866. The question before the high court is whether the case should proceed if he merely alleges bias as a factor, or must he allege that racism alone explains Comcast’s refusal? Permitting the former will open the courtroom doors to many lawsuits and invite investigation into the decision-making of corporate executives. That is why Comcast is backed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which argues in an amicus brief that the Ninth Circuit’s decision to adopt a “motivating factor” standard instead of a “but for” one “will punish and deter legitimate employment actions, disrupt workplaces, and impose unwarranted costs and reputational harms on businesses.”

Read the full article at:

The Hollywood Reporter

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