Byron Allen Takes Out Full Page Ad Calling GM CEO Mary Barra Racist

The letter was also signed by Ice Cube, Roland Martin, Don Jackson, Earl 'Butch' Graves and Junior Bridgeman.

Grow Your Business, Not Your Inbox

Stay informed and join our daily newsletter now!
3 min read
This story originally appeared on Black Enterprise

Byron Allen, the owner of the Weather Channel, took out a full-page ad in the Detroit Free Press Sunday calling General Motors CEO Mary Barra racist.

Allen, along with rapper and several owners of Black-owned allege Barra has refused to meet with them “consistently, over time and after multiple requests.”

“General Motors spends billions of dollars in and less than 0.5% goes to Black Owned Media. This is horrendous, considering that we as African Americans make up approximately 14% of the population in America and we spend billions buying your vehicles,” the ad states.

Related: Coca-Cola Asks Its Workers to Be 'Less White' to Fight Racism

“Mary, you have asked us to meet with your , Deborah Wahl. We have absolutely no interest in that because when Deborah was Chief Marketing Officer of McDonald’s, in our opinion, Black Owned Media was, once again, severely neglected, minimized and discriminated against. To be clear, Black Owned Media and not minority owned, because minority includes white women and large corporations like General Motors can hide behind and tout their minority records while continuing not to do business with Black Owned Media companies.”

The letter is signed by Allen, Cube, Roland Martin, Todd Brown, founder of Urban Edge Networks, Don Jackson, founder of Central City Productions, Earl ‘Butch’ Graves, president and CEO of Black Enterprise, and Junior Bridgeman of Ebony Media.

The ad ran in the same city where GM’s headquarters are based and where Allen calls home. According to the letter, the group has been trying to line up a meeting with Barra for five years to discuss how they could collect more of the company’s advertising dollars, but Barra has never responded.

When the group emailed Barra two weeks ago, she again sidestepped them and GM’s Chief Marketing Officer Deborah Wahl responded saying she would meet with the group. That prompted the full-page ad from the group.

Amid the protests last summer, Barra wrote a letter to all employees saying she will commission and chair an inclusion advisory board and donated $10 million to organizations that support racial equity.

Barra has noted in the past that GM does advertising with “minority-owned businesses,” but as the ad notes those are often run by white women.

Allen has taken several large companies to court over their lack of inclusion and diversity. Allen reached settlements with Charter Communications and Comcast Cable in recent months after filing racial discrimination lawsuits against them.

More from Entrepreneur
Entrepreneur Select: A Fund For Entrepreneurs, By Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs require more than just money, which is why we aim to empower you, as well as act as a catalyst for value creation.

Entrepreneur Insider members enjoy exclusive access to business resources for just $5/mo:
  • Premium articles, videos, and webinars
  • An ad-free experience
  • A weekly newsletter
  • A 1-year Entrepreneur magazine subscription delivered directly to you
Try a risk-free trial of Entrepreneur’s BIZ PLANNING PLUS powered by LivePlan for 60 days:
  • Get step-by-step guidance for writing your plan
  • Gain inspiration from 500+ sample plans
  • Utilize business and legal templates
  • And much more

Latest on Entrepreneur