ESI Charges Racism In Charter-TWU Approval

On Wednesday, Entertainment Studios Inc. (ESI) and The National Association of African American-Owned Media (NAAAOM) sent a letter to the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (BPU) claiming that BPU has “facilitated racial discrimination in contracting due to its approval of the Charter Communications acquisition of Time Warner Cable.”

On March 3, Entertainment Studios and NAAAOM presented BPU their specific concerns over BPU’s approval of Charter’s proposed purchase of TWC. Nevertheless, BPU agreed to the deal.
In so doing, ESI said, “without addressing Charter’s discriminatory conduct and its impact on a large portion of American society, the BPU has facilitated and enabled violations of Entertainment Studios’ equal protection rights under the United States Constitution, the anti-discrimination provisions of the New Jersey Constitution, and the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.”

“We are actively pursuing all of our legal options to address this failure by the BPU to prevent this institutionalized discrimination,” said Byron Allen, founder, chairman and CEO of Entertainment Studios. “The silence of the New Jersey BPU, Governor Chris Christie and New Jersey Senator Cory Booker is deafening and complicit. We will push for enforceable conditions and hold all government regulators and politicians fully accountable for supporting this racism.”

“We will pursue every legal option to make sure the government regulators and politicians in the states of Hawaii and California do not support the racist practices of Charter, as the regulators have done in New Jersey,” said Mark DeVitre, president of NAAAOM.

“The New Jersey Board of Public Utilities has violated our civil rights and public trust by ignoring this historic $10 billion lawsuit against Charter and rubber stamping their approval in New Jersey,” said Entertainment Studios counsel Rocky L. Peterson, senior counsel of Hill Wallack. “This is institutionalized racism. The BPU will be held fully accountable.”

The full letter sent to the Division of Rate Counsel of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities on April 27 can be seen here.

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