Byron Allen On Economic Inclusion, Buying The Weather Channel, Comcast Racial Bias Lawsuit + MoreMay 30, 2021
Breakfast Club tomorrow everyone is leaving envy Angela Yee Charlemagne the guy we are for Breakfast Club we have a special guest in the building yes Byron Allen good morning sir good morning good morning first of all thank you for having me i really appreciate no no no I'm a big fan I'm a big fan you do an amazing job and I really appreciate you so much so it's an honor to be here who is Byron Allen, for people who may not be familiar who is Byron I asked a big question. I'm trying to figure it out for myself you know what really blesses me hmm in many ways your celebrity net worth so people know exactly how you know what those blessings when you know I think of how great America is when I think of just my simple story my mother got pregnant with me when i was 16 wow and she had me seventeen days after her 17th birthday wow so michigan there in detroit michigan so i was born here on april 22, 1961 a black baby was born without civilian rights you would have I wouldn't bet on that baby and I wouldn't bet on that seventeen year old girl and I was lucky to know that they have such a wonderful mother and the Detroit riots happened when Martin Luther King was assassinated.
I was seven years old. He was playing in the streets and I will never forget the moment he was killed and my mom and grandma just screamed like I have never seen him scream before he was killed they killed him and within five minutes I was looking down. barrel of a tank mm-hmm the next thing I knew the troops were walking across the grass the bayonets the dogs and the military took over our neighborhood we gotta stop any horsemen that was what it was just a pumpkin the riots they knew that they were going to happen to start riots over a hundred watts that started when Martin Luther King was assassinated and naturists got in there we're in a turning place and they squashed it and it was basically if you're on the streets after dark we're going to shoot you, we're going to kill you . you and no questions asked curfew boom so me and my mom decided to go to LA and visit family in the summer of '68 and some friends and two weeks vacation and we ended up staying and sleeping on many couches many floors and the good grace of God just kind of brimstone served for a while and my mom my mom ended up getting into UCLA and she went to UCLA and got her master's degree in television and film production oh wow those in your blood and that was I want I mean, I'll be the first to say if the mothers succeed, so will the children and if the mothers fail, chances are the children will too, so because my mother was at UCLA and was getting her master's in production from film and television, he went to NBC and said, can I get a job? and they said no. and her persistence really paid off she said she asked a very important question she asked a question that changed our lives she asks do you have an internship and they said no and then went on to the next question would you start one with me and they said yes GameChanger and my mom ended up bei interning at NBC and then with her guy and then she became a publicist in the marketing department at NBC and because she was a tour guide and we couldn't afford childcare I would go out on NBC with her and I would sit and i would wait for her to get off work and just watch Johnny Carson do The Tonight Show Wow and watch Red Fox do Sanford and Son if Flip Wilson does the Flip Wilson Show and Richard Pryor does his specials and Freddie Prinze does. cheek to the man and then I'd go watch some unknown sportscaster do the local news Bryant Gumbel then watch an unknown meteorologist do the
weatherforecast Pat Sajak before the Today Show and before of course and just go from studio to studio in studio and i thought what a wonderful way to go through life making people laugh making tv and entertaining the world and this is what i'm going to do with my life and it's all because of education my mom went in there and opened that door and that's a mayo you know it changes the couple it just changes the paradigm instantly when i wonder what inspired it i don't want to go to school you know what she wants she always knew that education was the way and she said let's go and before that you know what We were in Detroit and my dad worked at Ford Motor Company for a little over 30 years and my grandfather worked at Great Lakes Steel for a little over 30 years and these were just amazing men. them, right? work an hour early every day and he learned to read and drink bad coffee every day and he didn't even know it and these guys were trying to figure out how to put 36 hours into 24 hours a day and that's what he wanted he wanted to go to factory with them and it was a game changer to see television being made, so I started doing stand-up comedy when I was about 13 or 14 years old.
More Interesting Facts About,
byron allen on economic inclusion buying the weather channel comcast racial bias lawsuit more...
I was narrowed down to you the comedian yeah yeah I started as a kid from watching Red Fo. x and Johnny Carson and all these comedians and I said, you know, I started doing stand-up and I went to the comedy store and did my routine and a guy saw me a great guy named Wayne Klein saw me and said who wrote those jokes and said yes. He said that I know someone might be interested in writing with you. I said I gave out my phone number and I got a call about a week or two later and this guy called me because he had me talk to Byron. jaywalk apparently i'm going this is Byron he's going he's going to this bar i'm going my man wayne klein says you're funny so if my man wayne klein says you're funny you must be funny i said oh thanks he's going you want to come write something he jokes with we're doing good let me ask my mom he was like always i have to ask his mom so i started writing jokes with Jimmy JJ Walker went to his apartment he was 14 years old and in his living room what kind of problem did he have make it look like the apartment from goodtime he was making money he was making it was hotter than th The sun was he was, you know, in the good times the number one show was turning him on and he walked into his apartment sitting there like David Letterman who had just left Indianapolis and a red van because he didn't think he was going to make it and he wanted to drive home and jay leno who was sleeping in his car and they made two hundred dollars a week and I got $25 a joke $25 po r joke - yeah so i sold my joke i sold a joke to moms they say the craziest things this milk smells sour here try it boom that was $25 and i was able to drop my paper route cause i know it was great cause i was throwing the herald- examiner and i had to throw it in the papers to make a penny and i thought ok i made it and i started doing stand-up and i kept doing stand-up and i kept writing and i was very lucky to end up being the youngest comedian on tonight Show with Johnny Carson and that went really well and I remember standing behind the curtain and I said alrig The next five minutes here after he introduces me will change my life forever and it went well and I got several offers and one of them was from people real people who ended up being the granddaddy of reality TV and real people was amazing because it took me across the country and I got to see America and I mean small town America where there are no stop lights and it's a population It was about 300 people, that's how I got into the business, but before that it was hard, I mean, it was with a single mom and there was talk about how she couldn't pay me, couldn't support me because things were hard, money was very sparse and that clicked with me as a kid so i started thinking. how to make money early on because my mom and dad got divorced and i felt like i pretty much lost my dad in that divorce and i wasn't going to lose my mom so i said i wouldn't let money be the one for what they tell him that you have to house him r adoption you need to put him in foster care or whatever so i started making money and i remember i was ten i went to ralph's labrea supermarket and third and i went to the supermarket and i said hey i can get a job and he said how many are you old? i'm 10 they said you have to be at least 16 to work here to pack groceries i say you have to be 16 to pack groceries i go how old is that guy right? there bagging groceries they said he's 16 i said well i'm 10 and i know not to put eggs in the bottom of the bag so why don't you give me a job well he was sitting there and i like this lady come back and say that this kid messed up my eggs so they said no that's not going to work so i was leaving the store and i saw this lady bring a basket of groceries into the store and i said and i saw her take the basket and push it inside from this machine and then the Machine gave her a stamp and I said hello ma'am what's that? e goes where every time you put a shopping basket in this machine you take it out of the parking lot because they don't want shopping baskets in the parking lot you get a stamp and if you get a hundred stamps you get dollars worth of food so i just worked on that parking lot Wow and I kept putting baskets in that machine that ain't slacking off that's not sir name that was there I'm working I'm putting basket and me and I'm going home with food for my mom Wow and I'm saying okay here we go mom, you don't have to worry about feeding us, that's right, so you start hitting that click right there, like when someone comes to your center and says, hey, you can't afford to support your family, which is something that is very real today because we are seeing single mother mothers who were struggling half the women in this country living at or below the poverty line and we are seeing them struggle to try to keep food on the table and the the government is taking them mm-hmm that's why I have seen that I have gotten too close to that I have tasted that abyss that leads people to a life of crime many brothers in the neighborhood feel that they know what I have to do to get to end of the month so they start doing illegal things things to put food on the table yes position to fail position to fail you know?
I wanted to look at Martin Luther King through Coretta Scott King XY so I don't know so I went, bought, went with her for several years and finally got her to sell me the rights to her life story because I wanted to see Martin through through his eyes. I felt like she was the one who knew him better than anyone. I felt that Coretta is the real queen of the United States because it was her. with him through the civil rights movement she's the one who raised his four children she's the one who raised over fifty million dollars to build the Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Change and she's the one who made his birthday Martin Luther King a national holiday the only American to have his birth hday as a national holiday and she sued her shot yes and i'm doing i'm loaded i'm making a movie about it i'm making a movie about everyone yes and one i'm making a movie about it which is going to change everyone's perspective and I learned so much from her and she taught me so much that I will never forget what Byron told me as black people we have four main ch
allenges number one end slavery number two in Jim Crow now Jim Crow and my pain it was
moreharmful than slavery because as slaves we were property, we were an asset and when we freed ourselves we became a liability and that's when they introduced Jim Crow I need to kill you I need to lynch you I need to put you in jail because you're competing with me and Jim Crow and then she said achieve number three achieve civil rights and then she choked and the next thing she said was change the way she saw the world she said the real reason why the one who killed my Martin achieve the economy
inclusionthat's how poor people le's March that's that's all she said they didn't kill my Martin because of I have a dream they killed my Martin because of the speech the other America that's how it is that's the speech that's the discourse that everyone innately needs to know there are two Americas one America has opportunity and access to capital and education and what does it matter if I can sit at the same food counter as my white counterpart and can't afford the same burger there are two Americas and two Americas won't survive that's why the poor people killed him In March, he was going to hand out half a million poor people, mostly poor whites of all walks of life races, which changed the rules of the game.
He was handing over half a million poor people to the nation's capital and the government said, hey, this guy is a threat. to national security and we're making a movie about this they gave orders to kill him yeah and there's a book read by william peppers that's the book i bought oh kill orders so we're maki ng that's why the one that i went into the movie business to tell that story and other stories like it and so we're the first movie studio to go directly to theaters and we deal directly with theaters so when she told me it really changed everything and I said you know you and Martin have done an amazing job I said fourth and final chapter this generation will take care of that you took care of the first three and now it's time for us to take care of that fourth chapter
inclusionand i never forgot that she said they'll come after you they'll come after they come like they're coming after you now right they always come after me yeah,but you know, listen, I know that people are always the same. made it very clear don't live in fear you can't live in fear you know i burned my knee pads a long time ago you know a lot of brothers save me have gone to the black ball you hold on black boy and i'm like hey when your black ass was born, They branded you black, you just didn't do it. and the email you were born into was blocked you know you've been positioned to fail and you have to own up where you know it took me a long time to begin to see what was going on?
Know? Take my children to school. Taking my daughter Chloe to school when she was 2 or 3 years old. my other daughter Olivia my son Lucas was not born at the time and my daughter Chloe started counting and telling me all the homeless people she was seeing now on the streets dad I see another homeless person dad I see another homeless person dad when we are going to stop to help them how can we not help them daddy three years old and when I got to the next traffic light I started crying I started crying because I realized that I turned off my empathy button and this girl was not normalized, she was normalized, that's true, you got it and this girl turned on the empathy button again and what was it about me that i was going to act like i didn't see you and i see yeah you know what we're going to help them what's going on here is a matrix that's going on here and we don't crack the code and i couldn't stop thinking about it and i said you know what the four DS is it's the four D you get discarded it was perfected into women hundreds of years ago just discard you hey you know what I'm not going to get a fair shake here, SW I'm going to go, you just get fired, then you get a little annoyed at being fired and you say no, this is real, we really have to try and then they discredit Oh look at that, okay, and then you get really a little stronger and a little
moreaggressive, not in a bad way, but like we really have to deal with this, then they go to that third D and they have to go to that. third D to get right with themselves Christians demonize you hmm and then once they hit that third D and demonize you, they have a green light to go to that inevitable fourth D destroy so it's dismiss discredit demonize destroy and I watched and I looked and I said wow what is going on here and I said you k now we are in a position to fail due to the nature of how we came to this country we were brought here to create wealth not to share wealth and you were brought here to create wealth to make people rich not to share it and the moment we became free we became a liability to them and that's when they stepped in and said here you go I'm going to put you in jail and I say listen they put us in the school room making sure you don't get a proper education, right? in the boardroom making sure you don't have access to non-abusive capital and business opportunities and they take you to the courtroom making sure there are laws that will jail you and lock you up long before you drown in the streets, what? how did you get the capital for a lot of the things you did because, like you said, they don't give us anything?
I can get that frame of mind and have that business mind frame to buy and do so many things that you were able to do and how you pivoted f from artist to executive with all of you to see that to understand that is to understand that you have to understand where you are to understand how you are positioned to fail if you don't understand that if you don't get into that matrix then you can't go to the next level so I said okay how can we keep you from knowing when you look at an air gardener drowning in the streets? access a capital today so that he was not standing on the sidewalk but owned a block he owned the store in which he was standing in front of how does that happen where they drown him to death he is happy we are being the battle is not in the streets is in the classroom is making sure we get a proper education is in the boardroom making sure you have access to non-predatory capital and it's in the courtroom like we're on the Supreme Court would talk a little bit about that and this was something you know I started supporting Senator Obama long before black America or anyone knew his name well because he went to people who had the capital to support.
I was happy to support and after he became president I said I'm not. unlike anyone else I have an agenda My agenda is that I want all Americans to have equal access to capital and opportunity, especially African Americans, the furthest behind, so I said I had to ask you I said you just spent $700 billion dollars to bail out the banks and I want you to audit the banks and see if they are lending money to black people not minorities black because minorities define themselves as white women and new minorities white gay men but really you say "I".
I'm going to audit him to see if he's lending money to black people. Whichever decade you want to go to, you'll see we don't have access to capital and at that point you had seen the unemployment data for unde. Obama administration unemployment for black Americans had risen and declined for white Americans and home ownership had hit a 25-year low, so I said the audit will send a very clear message to banks to start to lend money to blacks and them. I'll start digging up blacks out of graves and linden money to keep up their good standing with the US government.
What you need to do is understand that the United States government has over a trillion dollar pension fund over a pension fund of government workers money from people who work for the government over a trillion dollars about a penny of that is managed by African Americans Wow and I just need you to make sure you know that maybe a hundred and fifty billion is in the hands of qualified African American money managers because that will be invested in African American entrepreneurs in our communities and that will create jobs in our community and we can begin to address
economicgenocide by making sure it doesn't have access to proper education by making sure it doesn't have access to capital that amounts to genocide. out i'm going to get the oxygen out of the room i'm going to position you to fail you don't have a supporting education you know you have access to capital that's not predatory you don't have opportunities so i said those two things will change the game just notify the banks I'll give you a report card on black people and take about a hundred and fifty billion of the money out of the government workers' pension fund, a lot of it coming from people of color and that didn't happen, but that was my question.
I honestly think that we as people were not clear and our question and we did not hold him or others accountable. A lot of people say that I feel like we were so happy to have a beautiful black family. and there was no democracy that came, we didn't ask for it we weren't do you know what other communities were brilliant and didn't ask and got results? we were not clear in our question i was clear in my question and i said this is what i need for black america i need economic inclusion we need to address the fourth and final chapter and ultimately that is what is going to make america be better is that everyone is fully but you know maximizing their potential okay my money is easy my money is easy you know like i said i had to learn how to make money from the day i started saying look I helped my mother.
I'll make sure I'm not a burden, right? That's the easy part. it will find you, you could put a radar and say where this is and it will come to you but when you put that radar that says okay how are we going to make money in an honest way in a legal way you will find out especially today with the internet with the internet millions bye wea Channel 300 by the way 300 million is a lot of money so I think I listen to 300 you know I want to I want to make sure everyone understands how much money is out there and it's there for you. the money is there for you and you can do all of that and more that money is there especially today I mean look at the United States this is the largest financial system there is we have over 20 trillion dollars in liquidity and our systems financial that money is just spinning looking for a place to invest and looking for a place to get a sure return that money is available to you that money you are looking for and there are not many people who can actually invest it protect it return it with a return so there is enough of capital there is no shortage of capital in America, how do you get it?
Great question, okay? So let's talk about it, okay, let's listen to it, okay, let's talk about it, so we need to back up a bit, okay? Because I want everyone to understand Poss luckily because I want everyone to be a billionaire and I like it when you talk like that, everyone to be a billionaire okay I'll say a billion Allen because by the way God wants you to be like that he wants you to be the best you can be so I'm here to help so let's talk about let's talk about I started my company from my dining room table in '93 and did a TV special I interviewed a bunch of funny friends I remembered it well So weekly hour show called the artists Me and Byron Allen started I sat at my dining room table and called all 1300 TV stations and asked him to bring the show for free and on average they all said no about 50 times and I literally sat at my dining room table from dawn to dusk and I got about fifty thousand know and after a year of doing that I was able to squeeze about a hundred and fifty yeses.
I got a station, a TV station in every market from New York to Waterloo, Iowa, right? it was my line now tribune had told me yes
byronif you get 75% of the country we will sell your commercial time because i told the tv stations there are 14 minutes of commercial time i will keep seven minutes you keep seven minutes i will sell my seven minutes to national advertisers your local TV station you sell your seven minutes to local advertisers true you sell them to local banks car dealerships supermarkets i'll sell my seven minutes to McDonald's and Pepsi and Johnson & Johnson and General Motors you sell yours to the local you know them they didn't pay for the show that's right they didn't pay for the show i gave them the show for free he produced the show it's all all myself it's the hardest thing i've ever done i sat there for a year and just worked the phones like crazy for a year , the hardest thing I've ever done, giving away a tv show for free, so now the problem was after I did that old Tribunal we changed op Inion, we're not going to give you a $400,000 advance so you can go into production and produce this TV show, so I said, okay, I'm not going to watch here for a year and I told these TV stations that I'm not going to deliver what I told them I would deliver, so I didn't have two cents to put together and I decided to go ahead and I went ahead.
I didn't know how I was going to do it, but Martin Luther King, as he said, is faith taking a good step, they took that step when I was president. kept going and it was tough my house went in and out of foreclosure over 14 times over a four or five year period from bankruptcy to billionaire from bankruptcy to billionaire thats exactly there i was there were days i didnt eat there were days they went out my phone and this is before mobile phones I was calling people from a pay phone and I got to know the lady at the bank very well and I will never forget her she says her file keeps coming to my desk she says what are you doing I said well I'm not paying my mortgage because I'm paying the cameraman and I'm paying the sound person and I'm paying to get a tape and I'm paying to have my show edited and I'm paying to put it on satellite and I'm just trying to put a program in production.
I don't have the money to do it and she says listen honey, she says don't let day 89 go by because day eighty-nine day 90 goes to the lady. next to me Agnes and you don't want your father to go to his desk Agnes is not as nice as me so I said on the 89th and that was it and I showed up every day on the 89th and paid my mortgage but I was floating and finally i turned the corner and signed up all the movie studios to buy advertising before that i was selling 1-800 hairspray and after i got the movie studios i probably got 20 bucks for that can we sell it to everyone? so we kept selling and i went i got film studios and i said im going to soda i got soda and i went to fast foods and i went to packaged goods and i went to pharmaceut icals and i went to auto industry and i went industry by industry by industry and I went to the board of directors and with the CEOs and major brands with you this is me I'm gone I'm gone day and night I'm on the plane every night and I have five you know six meetings a day whatever and I finally put on another show and say you know i know all these tv stations i know all these advertisers i put another show on another show the followingthat you know I have 43 shows on the air when one of the largest private libraries in the world and I went to Verizon I said look I want to launch ten networks with you they said we won't give you ten we'll give you six we launched six 24 hour HD
I came back a few years later and said I got a 7th string. We launched the seventh network because we ended up being one of the biggest producers of court shows. We launched a seventh chain and then a friend came. me and a guy whose satellite on my networks success begets success and he came to me and said can we have dinner and i said yes and he said now he said don't you realize this before i was the ceo of this satellite company that satellite our networks said he used to be the COO of The Weather Channel and he said you should buy the Weather Channel he says I know you don't think about the Weather Channel in LA because it's always 80 degrees and sunny but it's a great business and generates hundreds of millions of dollars and the people who own it.
I just don't want to have it anymore because they're in a partnership, a three way partnership, it's Bane his black stone and it's NBC Universal and they want out of the deal and I said okay he started talking about it and I said okay let me in, we went in, I said, you know what, I'm going to buy Weather Channel and I called a guy and I said, you know, we have an opportunity, we have an opportunity to buy The Weather Channel and I said it generates quite a bit of capital and I need three hours $100 and ten million dollars so you didn't use your money I didn't use my own money okay I borrowed it okay so the guy I called on a Friday morning got his number and by True, this is what I knew. he has a hundred billion dollars that he manages so you have a hundred billion dollars that you manage you have a problem you have a hundred billion dollars that you have to invest and get back with a correct return so I do something with that money that you have . do something with it right there, so I said, look, I'm here to help you.
I got a hundred billion. I'm here to help you download some of that. Put it somewhere and get that return. On Friday morning he sent his senior executive to see me the next business day. Monday at 2 o'clock. He sat in my conference room for four hours. He said that this is one of the most incredible business stories I have ever heard. You are a brilliant businessman. I'm going to give you an engagement letter a term sheet tonight and an engagement letter tomorrow morning please close on
channeland we saw if you know money money we will know you and love you and be with you money is easy don't be afraid of money let money love you money will always be with you there's plenty of money money loves me when she said you're fine thank you man or did you give a little yell i didn't say i'm here to help i guess you know i'm here to help in my head when He said yes I'll give you that letter of commitment tomorrow yeah but I thought the first time you did something like that you bought all 11 small market networks of us eight well you know one of the first things I bought I bought a distribution company of movies that I released freestyle because I wanted to go straight to theaters because we as African Americans have never had that where we control our distribution directly to the movie theaters and i bought the griot and the griot is an amazing afro american publication g natal she is the great she is amazing and todd johnson just came on board to be our fearless leader and i felt it was important and buy the griot to own you know our voice to own our market position to really control our narrative you know with soul you know it's very important to me because when my kids were born I had a guy tell me you know a white man tells me why it's important that you have black property you know what's wrong with black pointed because there's a lot of blackface and i said i'm glad you asked me that question you know let me tell you why i bought the griot and why i bought a movie distributor and why i have ten cable networks let me ask you something As a white male with sons, are you comfortable with me controlling the images of your daughters and how they are produced and how they are represented and how they grow vi by themselves? daughter is herself and she said no and i said great i said i hoped you would answer the question that way now understand me as a black man and my black daughters now that they are here i am going to take a seat at the table and i am going to control how they are produced and how they are represented and how they grow and how they see themselves because at this point in my life nothing is more important to me than when you bought those networks from the US for 290 million, that was you and that was his intention absolutely, so he knows that what we have to do is have the property, he knows that's what we need to do, we need to have the property in our community and that's what I've always done.
Pressured if it's the griot or if it's syndicated to movie theaters so if it's about owning cable networks or TV stations or radio stations you have to own the game not play the game and that has always been my position. in the game don't play the game I'll make you see you know so you talked about some of the things you see on these network tv yeah what's your take on the things you're singing about on tv? I mean it's varied I mean there's an audience for everything yeah but look you've got 7 billion people on the planet 7 billion you don't need that many people have 4 billion connected devices around the world no you need a lot of people to really appreciate what you do and you have a sustainable business, so you know it's one of those things where no matter what you think there's an audience for the type of programming you put on. pets in american cars my season of death travel we put out movies we put out you know 150 feet down and you know this friday november 1st we have arctic dogs our first animated movie because i want us to be in the family business and i want us to be understanding that business how to put animated movies You know we're building you know I told my wife when I met her almost 20 years ago she said what are you doing this and I'm building the biggest media company in the world the biggest in the world it means you do it right yes you I can say what can you do that?
Put black contact. I haven't heard you mention any black content. You know what we definitely are. One of the first movies we released when I bought a freestyle was Meet the Blacks. It's okay with Deon Taylor, who I mean, that's what you know, but what I've always said and told you, you know, little kids, you know what I don't want to play in the Negro Leagues. I'm going to play in the global leagues. I bought the Weather. Channel to make it very clear to Wall Street that they look at me as a global player, not a black player.
I'm global and I happen to be black and there's a big difference so my assets are global so I'm not global either. Could be it. I'm someone like Tyler Perry Tyler Tyler is incredibly apologetic. I also love the black haters. audience and that's a great global business brain and it's glowing and it's a great brand but the assets I'm
buyingI make sure they have the ability to go global so one of the first things I did after I bought The Weather Channel's I announced that we are doing something that has never been done before, we are doing Weather Channel in Spanish, it is the first 24-hour weather channel in Spanish, how do you say, snowing in Spanish, Drum Rondo, there it is, so I want to do this very clear you know we're global we're going in too it's going to be sexy though not your average weather chat is sexy we haven't started that but you know it's raining man let's do it you know, look at the end of the day, the Capitals there and then you also have to make sure of your position to win and I learned this from a guy God bless his soul Roger King and Roger and I became good friends Roger came to me once he said and i live in los angeles he said will you come to new york and pitc? me and i said sure and i went to new york the pitch he he was like offices on broadway roger king had a company called king world and distributed wheel of fortune jeopardy oprah true all these amazing shows these were him like he put the reason you got oprah it's because of Roger King and i proposed to him and he said wow he said i heard you were a great salesperson he said you really are a great salesperson and i meant a lot to me since Roger is the most successful at that point he says i can only think of one guy who was a best seller on you.
I said who is that. He said that my dad said that my dad loved vendors. In fact, he opened the drawer. His desk drawer and he pulled out a tie. He said that this tie belongs. To my dad, I want you to have it, since my dad would have liked you a lot. Wow, he was mentally correct, no, what deal did they make after that? with you I said for sure he is a very rich successful man he said I didn't realize how bad he was and how much racism there was until I went and saw that he started selling Oprah.
He said one of my first pitches when I went and hosted a television station to put Oprah on the air. he looked at me and said i will never put that on my tv channel and he looked me in the face and said i got up from the chair i was sitting in and threw it across the desk at him and then i took the show across the across the street and sold it to his competitor and kicked that guy out of town dammit and said but you know what really bothered me is he thought he could tell me that he thought he was good with it he thought he was fine with that.
He said my mom and dad raised me better than Roger King. I never forget this. He says, so he listens, he says. I know you've been calling all these TV stations from your dining room table and you've been calling them every day from sunrise to sunset. I just started my company. He goes and I play golf. a lot of these guys and they're laughing and joking about how much you called them and how they're not going to call you back and he told me they're not going to do business with you because you're black and he says I don't like that hmm I'll never forget this He says so listen he says I'm going to have I'm going to have my birthday party at my beach house in New Jersey and he says everyone who owns and operates a television the station is going to be there he's going I hired Paul Anka The Four Tops and Elton John to celebrate my birthday they are going to give a concert and the Sarducci brothers are going to do a fireworks show for half an hour he is going please come to my house on the beach this weekend I am going well I had to do it I had no money to go there i took the bus and i'm out said man i hope i'm on this man's list and i get there and i'm going here
alleni see roger king leaving oh yeah but the boss has been looking he keeps leaving and going where are you , so I walk in and he says Byron Allen, now he's to party? can start he comes a thing or two in hollywood gives me that bear hug he goes tells me he says who's not who here he's not returning his phone calls right there and i said y'all go watch this hey bob drop that guacamole come to talk to me, says Bob, do you want to renew?
Willa Fortune Jeopardy and Oprah and the guy laughs a little nervously. settle some business with him and then we'll talk about what I'm going to charge you with a hazard of fortune and he did it for the hole and he took the stage we have the Top Four and we have Elton John and we have the hardest working man in Hollywood here in my backyard byron allen this is the kind of guy you want to do business with and i never had a game changer right gay and never realized i was persistent I'll tell you something that's historic what we're going through you know he taught me that you have to position yourself to be successful and that's what he was doing so the Obama administration came to me because these big corporations were trying to grow, they were trying to buy bigger assets and then the Obama administration came to me and said Comcast wants to buy this and Charter wants to buy that blah blah blah are they good corporate citizens? and I said, do you want the answer from Hollywood?
Do you want the real answer? They said we want the real answer. they are not good corporate citizens, he says they said, how do you imagine? I said okay the industry spends 70 billion a year on cable network licenses 70 billion and black owned media gets zero zero and that's not fair and they say we hear that a lot what are you willing to do? I said they said people were afraid to speak up because of the repercussions of reciprocity and I said I'll speak with ax and I said but I'll do it in a way where we don't have to deal with it anymore.
So I filed the Se
lawsuits that ended up being historic. I filed a twenty billion dollar
lawsuitagainst Comcast and a ten billion dollar lawsuit against Charter and why weren't you afraid to do that with the TV guy? Again you have to burn knee pads and I knew we were positioned to fail we didn't have real economic inclusion we weren't really dealing with the fourth and final chapter so I said we're going to do this the right way so we took it to the court in the center of the city, ruled one ofthe judges in
comcastis favor twice and the other judge ruled on the
comcastlawsuit and the other judge ruled in our favor on the Charter cave charter I didn't like it they say let's go to the 9th Circuit I said ok if you're going to take meetings in the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit I'm taking Comcast to the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Wow, so we went to the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and then something historic happened, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled in our favor neither one time but twice at both Comcast and Charter Comcast was very upset about it and said we should take this to the Supreme Court and now that's happening now we're going to be in Supreme Court on November 13 you said you felt that it was an insult to the black community it's a huge insult to the black community because the truth of the matter is what i need for the black community to really understand that my case is really not in court anymore Supreme Court unfortunately we are in the Supreme Court what happened was that the Supreme Court said that we are not going to see the case of Byron Allen with Comcast and Charter.
We pretty much agree with the Ninth Circuit. That's a dispute between you, but let's look at the Civil Rights Act of 1866, section 1981. What exactly is that big question? The Civil Rights Act of 1866 was put on the books afterwards, so we were practically free in December of 1865 and instead of getting what some historians believe is reciprocity, 40 acres and a mule, we got this law. it's law and it basically says that we will have economic inclusion in fair contracting in government contracting and in business contracting because they knew that newly freed African American slaves were not going to be treated freely in business contracting and in government contracting and it was essential to us integrate into the financial fabric of America, so this law was put on the books a hundred and fifty-three years ago to ensure that we had an economic path to economic inclusion 150 is the first civil rights statute in America that gave rise to to civil rights and it is the civil rights statute that allows us to have economic inclusion and stop economic genocide, so what Comcast said and the sea and the 9th Circuit told you to get out of here with this Comcast said for you or Byron someone in me any minority to use this law, you must prove that the reason for which you discriminated namos is 100% because you are black, the only reason we discriminated against you Charlamagne discriminated against you is that you are 100% of the reasons you are black could be 99 percent that you are black and 1 percent that you use tennis shoes and you can't use the law you can't sue me so they're gutting it they're making it impossible for you to wear it now that it's called the but-for standard that's what Comcast and charter are pushing for they're pushing for for this civil rights statute to go away now with the Ninth Circuit saying in favor of blacks in all minorities Hispanic Asians all that is not the only reason that is the but-because it is the motivating factor if any part of the reason if you were discriminated against there, it's impossible so it can't be used so if it's 20% or 30% whatever part of the reason now you can use it that's why we're there on this in the Supreme Kort now this is what happened comcast won got what's known as an amicus brief to a friend of the cou I got Donald Trump's Justice Department to write them an amicus brief saying yes let's take minorities back to 1865 let's take those black people back to slavery so i thought i'd put it on the books there donald trump DL J wrote an amicus brief in favor of color and yes it's ok in favor of comcast it's a position against us and not just what we thought it was amazing and horrible something we've never seen Comcast said well listen we have 30 minutes in front of the Supreme Court and Byron has 30 minutes in front of the Supreme Court but you know what we're going to do Comcast is what Comcast says we're going to give 10 of our 30 minutes in front of Donald Trump's Supreme Court we don't give 10 of our 30 minutes to Donald Trump's Justice Department so now on November 13th we're standing on the Supreme Court and in an era of Donald T rump in which we have Donald Trump's Justice Department arguing against us to take the original, first civil rights statute and gut OH now handed over to Mega put up a federal court Aren't you worried that this new case could undo the civil rights of an entire generation?
It could take us back to 1865, all minorities. So is it worth it? That's why I didn't. they did and then what they did is they did what i consider to see this what i call institutionalized racism they treat us like we're a bunch of monkeys but i thought look thats right looking for a banana so this is what they say hey byron drop the case drop the case drop the case and maybe we'll meet with you maybe we'll work with you well that's a fee that's a racist offer that's one i think you're just a monkey and here's a banana no white devils kid here yeah it's okay I mean shouldn't you want to drop the cake if it's going to set us back when a whole generation when I got to Sorel no because I didn't first of all we won on the ninth circuit twice we won twice and no I brought it to the Supreme Court they brought it to the Supreme Court now if you don't come at us in a racist way and you don't look at us like a bunch of monkeys looking for a banana then you do it the same way you do all whites alone pay them no you fix it you solve the case then it falls off so they didn't come with you but look they never met with me yeah see I asked them to meet with me but why don't you drop it and then you you meet with and it can be me, that's right, which is something you would never ask of a white person.
I'll actually sit down with you, my government relations person went to the government relations person on the letter and she said and he said you should sit down, Byron would work this out and she told him we don't negotiate with terrorists Wow, okay, that's what she said and he said you know what i have a number of white clients who are much tougher than Byron and you never called him a terrorist and i said that's the difference because it should offend domestic terrorists because they look at us it's not you're the same you don't get something you deserve and how dare you sue me and use peaceful tactics see the offer is racist like i drop it and then i could sit down with you and we could work something out that's why you need to be very clear to stop the institutionalized racism sit down Comcast sit down charter don't jeopardize the civil rights of over a hundred million people these are people who know they are doing the wrong thing and they know the sen Adora Kamla Harris was phenomenal, she wrote an amicus brief on our behalf and got it signed by Senator Cory Booker, Senator Blumenthal, Senator Wyden and eight members of the Congressional Black Caucus eight in fortunately only eight out of 55 now I think we, as black americans we need to ask the other 47 congressional leaders why they didn't sign this amicus brief if you want our money you want our vote why aren't you signing something to protect our civil rights how has the response been from rights organizations existing civilians what are they telling you you know michael lawson is amazing he wrote a phenomenal letter is saying to people hey you know he said he sent a letter to brian roberts and david cohen from comcast and he said this is wrong and they should sit down and that we can't challenge our civil rights and a lot of people are very upset I mean they've taken it to a level that's bigger than that I have very little to do with me at this point because they are challenging our civil rights this is what will happen now this is what will happen if you take away these civil rights now someone can fire you and you can't get a lawyer that's why which the Chamber of Commerce gave them an amicus curia brief because they didn't want their business to be sued so now someone can now you can't get a lawyer to take your case on contingency because using it's hard to prove that 100% of the reason why the one you were discriminated against is almost possible so they don't want that law to be used so i say the moment people can discriminate against you and you can't hold them accountable i say three words welcome to hell well welcome to hell and you have to asking why are you doing this Comcast why are you physically standing in the United States Supreme Court with Donald Trump's DLJ trying to gut this est civil rights act have respect sit down with me and let's figure it out and this will go away if it's true that Comcast executives told someone their company that they're not trying to create Bob Johnson anymore that's what someone told us absolutely that's a look we'll think about who has created wealth in this country that didn't come from entertainment for the most part it's very hard you know what you can count on one hand with one hand you mean black people like yeah you know out from sports and entertainment in your own Allen you know that's all pharmaceuticals is and there it is there and that's why this lawsuit is important because you need to protect this because historians believe this was our reciprocity, this is your way, you have to protect this law, you know?
I want to set this up for you to a nice button because I know people taking this right now. I know you have to go. But. I'm fine. I have a lot of time. I'm here to hang out with you. I've been looking for you I don't have a meeting I'm fine I like hanging out with you are you kidding I want to go a lot more with you I like him less but why is this such a special case in your opinion why should we be so informed about it, it's a very special case because it's the original Civil Rights Act in America, it's about protecting our economic inclusion, if we don't have economic inclusion then you're finished if you're poor and black and not uneducated in America they will treat a dog street best. er than you, it is a fact that there are more animal shelters than homeless shelters and therefore you cannot live like that, you must have access to a proper education, you must have access to the economy that can really help you to be a part of the American financial fiber, and therefore this law was designed to provide us with a path so that this is now being removed.
Return our civil rights to a point where we cannot use them. What can we do? How can we help? What kind of ruckus? Can we let you know what is a great question? against this is one of those that puts you in the courtroom and you don't even know and you can't normalize things like this you can't that's right because we've been so normalized with the things I've been going through with Donald Trump that's right , okay, we hope it's true you have to protect your civil rights protect your civil rights that's what I want us to do protect them go to your representatives ask the 47 to go to the grill if you go to the grill we will publish who signed it and then you'll see who didn't go to the 47 members of the Congressional Black Caucus and ask why you didn't sign this and what you're going to do to tell Comcast and fund how you dare defy our civil rights with your words. from Muhammad Ali if you dream of spanking my ass you better wake up and apologize that's the time of day if you don't drop this case our civil rights if we're not going to drop the case we're going to the Supreme Court on November 13 we're going going in front of all nine judges we're going to take the position that we prevailed with in the Ninth Circuit twice and Comcast is one of those if you win you lose if you lose you lose I said I mean so what are the ramifications if you walk out case if you do? drop the case what are the ramifications in a black community how did that affect if you drop the case if we drop the case then well we won't then at the end of the day they will say ok so the Civil Rights Act is no longer in play but they are the ones who brought it in and what they've done is they've upset a lot of people in DC and I've told David Cohen and Brian Robertson that they know through a back channel that they know through secondary channels this is not good you've upset a lot people and that was not the intention now you have people in DC who are now talking about working quietly and working aggressively to break up Comcast because they don't believe that Comcast should be the largest cable operator owning TV stations and owning the portfolio largest of cable networks that's not my agenda I don't necessarily want to see Comcast go broke I don't want to see their business hampered in any way I just want them to just have the respect to sit down with me so we can work things out so we're nothing ing is in danger, but they've upset a lot of people, the n-double-a-cp has stepped in aggressively, and there are a lot of other people who change color as a lot of people are weighing in and now they are really going to hold their representatives and a lot of politicians accountable and I think they know that Comcast is living in a bubbleand I get it, you know David Cohen gets paid over 14 million a year, he has a budget of over a hundred and twenty five million to make sure that he donates money to civil rights organizations and black politicians to make sure there's no problem , but it's gone too far because people were really upset that what's at stake is our civil rights that they could literally take us back to 1865 I didn't take this to the Supreme Court, they're the ones who should leave it and we're the ones who we are right.
How much have you spent fighting this Millions? I don't even keep count. I really know. I mean, me. I do not do it. done this I've spent millions and at the end of the day this was something I remember talking to Coretta Scott King about this is the fourth and final chapter we're going to have economic inclusion and by the way this is not a question. this is a take and we are not asking we are taking because it is rightfully ours we have a seat at the table no one invites you to have that no one is going to give it to us this is ours and you have to understand you value your value we deserve better we have built this with you you got lucky being the richest country in the world without our free labor and hundreds of years of slavery good luck we know who we are we are kings and queens royalty runs through our blood we are from africa the oldest continent ok We know who we are, we know our worth, I know you've worked overtime to make me or us feel less worth, but we know what we bring to the table and we certainly bring it to the table where you need to have the respect to sit with us. when you haven't even sat down with us, David Cohen and Bryan Roberts, and that's a problem, and by the way, the reason you're the number one cable operator in America is because black businessmen didn't have a lot of money. businessmen were given the cable system in black communities, but black businessmen did not have access to the capital to physically run cable to the home, so the reason you are the number one cable operator in America and it has all the black cities and all the black neighborhoods it's because the black businessman didn't have access to the capital we don't have it yet and we don't have it yet so if you're going to get all this money out of our community with African American cable subscribers so just have the respect t Sit down and let's figure this out and let's not jeopardize the civil rights of over a hundred million Americans living as minorities in America today and over a billion in the future.
How do we change that? to get money, they're not lending us money, that's right, and the banks we have can't necessarily give us the amount we need, that's right, most of the time, that's right, you have to have your own home, you have to having a home of your own because you need someone to own the home, especially when you have a child that is born, so when that child is 18, you can refinance that house and send that name to that child to college. There is no President Barack Hussein Obama without Harvard in his biography. in these kids to school earlier about higher education because we've had a lot of debates here where people feel like it's not necessarily what we have to do, people go into debt and spend a lot of money on an education and then get out of school and not even know what they want we have we have to fund our kids we have to make sure they go to school and stay in school and we have to check the percentages they see the top 100 colleges in America have less than half a percent black kids in your population we will not end economic genocide you can just look at the population of the top 100 universities in America and if you have half the percentage then you are not going to be recruited by the biggest corporations you know and the bigger Wall Street firms you have to get into these universities and we have to fund our kids in these universities and we have to insure We don't want our kids to have seats in these colleges, what about HBCUs?
Absolutely, you have to finance all of them and you have to make sure they are properly financed. You know the real reason I went after Comcast and charter. with my cable networks it didn't happen what happened was a gentleman who wanted to make the black college sports network in association with the HBCUs and Comcast didn't take it and that would have made a lot of money for these black colleges absolutely and AG would have crowned the network this is what he wanted to do that, he would educate a lot of black kids and when they didn't, that's when I came off the bench and said, okay, I'll light you up like a Christmas tree, okay, that was the The real reason I got into it was when I saw what happened to the black college sports network I don't know I just knew that's why I just knew I'm a I just knew these blacks like that were okay I knew these black colleges were going to benefit and these black kids were going to get the education they deserved and they wouldn't have to pay and that's what I said and I remember telling Tom Rutledge to shake Charter Tom Rutledge said well you know you sued me and blah blah a blah because i was trying to get my fusion a i said tom you really want to know the truth why should it suit you when i saw you in the paper without sharpton and you were taking a picture without sharpton and you said and this is not a lack of respect to Al you said that we have an MoU a Memorandum of Understanding with blacks and I said oh who is the white who speaks for all blacks and why do you think there is a black who speaks for all blacks and why do you think he speaks for me and so if that white guy doesn't exist for you then that black guy doesn't exist for me and the very idea that you can go to a black person to speak for all black people is a racist idea and that's a racist document this is the native boss who talks to all the other natives that's wrong that's wrong al sharpton he's been helping him block you a bit no i wouldn't say he's been helping the block but i think what they do is go to people like the League Urbana and the n-double-a -cp and people like this and they make donations and because they do IMHO donations maybe don't speak the way they should. he had no net neutrality he would not have put out the ferguson video because they would have speeded up the internet and made it hard for him to watch that video coming out of ferguson he needs black america needs net neutrality like black america needs food water and oxygen , and you have to ask your civil rights organizations, ask them, ask everyone, did you speak out against net neutrality, did you work with Comcast to try to stop net neutrality, and if they did, did that help you?
Does it say everything you need? i need to know why we black people need to stop looking for others to save us and speak for us you need to save yourself and speak for yourself well with that being said shouldn't a guy like you who had billions of dollars? you should be giving these black organizations like n-double-a-cp and arveleï so you basically have them in your pocket instead of meeting the white man meeting yeah I like the way you think the Urban League he gave me the Whitney M Young junior ward April 18th my dad's birthday this year and I gave him a quarter of a million dollars and told them I would give them more but we have to work together I know Comcast gives Urban League a million dollars a year and I know it's hard for them to leave that crack and I said guys I'm here to help myself I'm happy to help replace that money if not all of it but sit down with me and make sure you are doing the right thing and there are a lot of black people we are not poor we have a lot of wealth in our community and we are happy to support each other and we are happy to fund our politicians so they can do the right thing so we can talk and talk and protect our interests and make sure make sure we have access to capital make sure banks lend us money make sure we're part of that pension fund run a trillion dollar pension fund and make sure our schools are strong and make sure our kids get a proper education and make sure you sit at the table of these top universities.
I know we keep saying heartburn about education and I agree, but education won't stop racism. No, because you are going through a racist situation right now. you can't when people are educated and have money it's hard to discriminate they still do it doesn't eat you as a regardless of what you will find absolutely absolutely but you have stronger you have more resources and you have more recently you have greater resources to do them responsible, okay, and everyone from that school that he went through that he can access and what happens is that a lot of people don't mess with people who can afford the best lawyer. rs right there when you have money when you have money and you can hire the best lawyers people treat you with respect it's ok so you want to have that education and you want to have resources and it starts to level the playing field and that's important so what I mean look , I have great respect for many people in our community and I know that most people in our community want the best for themselves and I want to make sure that we position ourselves for long-term success and we do now and we have to be very vigilant about it and you know what it is, I think the gay community is also being challenged the day before, November 12, and in the Supreme Court and they're brilliant, they're out in the streets and you're protesting and I'm not saying go out and protest and certainly, but let it be known that you're not aware of this and you're not happy about it, hey Comcast, David Cohen, Brian Roberts, hey you know Tom.
Rutledge it charter doesn't challenge our civil rights that's not right let's sit down and figure it out you know you have a voice you have a lot of power you also need to really talk to your representatives when you meet twelve members of congress who have supported themselves and you have 47 sitting on the bench what do you have to say and why should we vote for you and why should we give you money you need to protect our civil rights plus everything you know we have people one last question where do people who look like you come from Situations similar to those his.
Yes, how are you helping those people? Because many times they know that we see that we want us to support them, but many times no one necessarily reaches out to the areas where we come from and says: you know what? Let me help him so he can give a boost to something he didn't have. I love it, but you have the opportunity to absolutely do it. That's a great question and I do a lot of it. I do a lot. talking to the commune making g clear please understand your civil rights are at stake your civil rights right?
A lot of people wouldn't take the time. They just do what they do. Lots of people out there say I'm rich. Clearly, I'm not that person. It's easy not to sit here. It is easy. I can go sit on a yacht in the south of France right now, okay, and I know a lot of people who are doing that, but I'm sitting here saying we deserve better. we can be better and we can do better and that's how we come together that's why i'm sitting here and you've been relatively quiet all these years so for you to talk about this now yes i'm sitting here and i'm talking you know i'm taking what he taught me Coretta Scott King and I'm saying hey folks we have to deal with the fourth and final chapter the reason I bought the griot so it's 100% owned by African Americans when you think the Weather Channel is owned by an African American who is historic, you basically have fo our news organizations in America we celebrated here when it happened, thank you, you know, CNN, owned by AT&T, MSNBC, owned by Comcast, and Fox News, owned by News Corp, and The Weather Channel, owned by me , that in itself is exceptional for us as a community
buyingfreestyle so we can go straight to the movie theaters that's the first thing the grills so we can have a voice that e just can't be edited it's about making sure we have the truth the absolute truth and it's general it's really simple we just want to make sure all Americans have fair access equal opportunity all Americans especially African Americans , the furthest behind, and making sure that we work together with our gay brothers and sisters, our Hispanic and Asian brothers and sisters, all to make sure that if they're under siege, they know we've got their back because today it's them, tomorrow it's us, we've got another great coming black creator packer my final question t this is it if what the internet says is true yes sir and bill kyle we have room to try to buy them.
You can't live in fear because fear is another form of slavery and I left the plantation a long time ago and I'm not going back to the plantation and you know I'd rather I made the decision a long time ago I'd rather die on my feet than on my knees and don't live afraid God has me God loves me God put me here to do great things and I will not let God down and when I have and when God when I finally go to heaven andGod tells me why you did it help feed my hungry people why you helped educate my people who were not receiving education why you helped heal my sick children why I must be very simple God you are my father and I want you to be proud of me and always how i know you're in my life no one can hurt me and i'm unstoppable Byron Ali top 300 a year for me dammit and just say you know 50 Cent is mad at Brian Johnson Brian Roberts ok he posted it on his networks socials, is that right?, yeah, posting from Comcast, that's all, we're not going to live on the Comcast plantation. 3 million is the breakfast cloud good morning
If you have any copyright issue, please Contact