Diddy Files Lawsuit Against Liquor Giant Diageo For ‘Typecasting’ DeLeon Tequila
Diddy has filed a lawsuit against the company distributing his DeLeon tequila and Ciroc vodka brands, accusing it of racism. According to Bloomberg Law, Sean “Diddy” Combs’ company, Combs Wine and Spirits, filed a lawsuit against Diageo North America Inc. Combs claims that Diageo doesn’t support Black-owned brands the same way it supports brands that are not black-owned.The lawsuit, filed in New York State court, accuses Diageo of being dishonest about its diversity efforts. Combs claims the company “kneecapped” the liquor products he backed, typecasting them as “Black brands” that should only be marketed to “urban” (code: black) consumers.In Diageo’s legal paperwork, a company executive acknowledged the company’s racist tendencies in saying “race was part of the reason Diageo limited the neighborhoods where the Combs brands were distributed.”“In a business where production, distribution, and sales are the pillars of success,” Diageo and its leaders “have put their feet on the neck of Mr. Combs’ brands” by starving them of resources, the suit states. “Contracts matter more than press releases.”The hip-hop business mogul is seeking billions in damages “in a proceeding not before this court,” according to the complaint.TMZ reported that Diddy has complained that Diageo refused to properly market and invest in DeLeon for the past several years, focusing instead on tequila brands such as Don Julio and George Clooney’s Casamigos.Combs also alleges that the company has been neglectful toward his brand. DeLeon has repeatedly been out of stock at retailers nationwide, including larger markets like California and New York.
This action comes on the heels of Diddy launching Diddy Direct for consumers and retailers to access his Ciroc and DeLeon brands.