Skip Miller, an attorney representing Allen’s Entertainment Studio Networks, said in an emailed statement that the motion is legally unfounded and “an obvious bullying tactic.”
“McDonald’s is wrong on the merits of our claim for racial discrimination in contracting, so they’re resorting to name calling and intimidation,” he said. “They’re flailing. Their tactic won’t work.”
McDonald’s said in a statement that it remains on track to meet its goals for Black-owned marketing investments by the end of next year. It also said it will continue to fight against Allen’s allegations.
“We will not allow Mr. Allen to misuse the legal process and perpetuate untrue narratives at our expense,” the statement said. “We will continue to contest his lawsuits and oppose his scheme to twist and mischaracterize McDonald’s progress to line his own pockets.”
McDonald’s advertising spend commitment was part of a broader push to improve diversity and inclusion that the fast-food chain made in recent years. It has also promised to diversify supplier and franchisee ranks and tied some executive compensation to meeting diversity goals.
Allen has been sparring with McDonald’s for years over discrimination allegations. Earlier this year, he took out a full-page ad in the Chicago Tribune soliciting support from activist investor Carl Icahn in his fight against what the ad said was “blatant racism” at McDonald’s.