Deadline: Byron Allen Rips Comcast Now That Diversity Chief David Cohen Is “Out Of The Way”

By Dade Hayes, Dominic Patten

Byron Allen, who has been locked in a legal dispute with Comcast that has reached all the way to the Supreme Court, didn’t mince words in his response to the company’s latest executive shuffle.

David Cohen, who has steered Comcast’s diversity efforts and faced blame from Allen and others who say the company mistreated minority-owned cable networks, announced he will exit his operational role by January 1. In 2020, he will serve as an adviser to CEO Brian Roberts.

“With David Cohen out of the way, this is a pivotal moment in the history and legacy of Comcast and Brian Roberts,” Allen said in a statement. “Mr. Roberts and the Comcast board of directors should immediately rescind their petition in the U.S. Supreme Court challenging the civil rights of over 100 million Americans and sit down with staunch critics of Comcast/NBCUniversal.”

Along with himself, Allen recited a roll call of names on that list of critics, including Robert Rodriguez, Sean Diddy Combs, U.S. Senators Kamala Harris, Richard Blumenthal, Cory Booker and Ron Wyden, the NAACP and Gabrielle Union.

Allen said he hopes further discussions can help “resolve the systemic and horrific racial issues at Comcast/NBCUniversal. With all of us working together, we can truly make this better for millions of Americans and Comcast/NBCUniversal.”

The Supreme Court last month heard arguments in the $20 billion discrimination suit filed by Allen, who contends that the cable and media giant under-funded and generally discriminated against channels run by and serving minority communities. Allen, through his National Association of African American Owned Media, had sought carriage of channels like JusticeCentral.TV, Pets.TV and Recipe.TV. Networks such as Combs’ Revolt and Rodriguez’s El Rey did go live several years ago on Comcast and other systems, but their principals have recently aligned themselves publicly with Allen.

Comcast did not have any immediate response to Allen’s statement. We will update the post if they do.