A group of Black-owned media company leaders publicized allegations that Mary Barra— the chief executive officer of General Motors—is displaying racist behavior. According to The Detroit Free Press, a full-page ad on page 3A the newspaper accused Barra of refusing to meet with them “consistently, over time and after multiple requests. Signers of the ad reportedly included Bryon Allen, Roland Martin, Todd F. Brown, Don Jackson, Ice Cube, Junior Bridgeman, and BLACK ENTERPRISE‘S Earl “Butch” Graves Jr.
The Detroit Free Press also reported that the ad says “less than 0.5% goes to media companies owned” by African Americans, calling that “horrendous, considering that we as African Americans make up approximately 14% of the population in America and we spend billions buying your vehicles.”
In an interview with the Free Press last Sunday, Allen said that the Black-owned media group wants General Motors to allocate at least 5% of its advertising budget to Black-owned media companies. The newspaper also reported that GM’s spokesman—Pat Morrissey— stated in an email that the car company currently spends more than .5% of its media budget with Black-owned media. Although the specific figure was not provided, Morrissey reportedly said the number is increasing. It is “much higher than .5%.”
The seven Black-owned media leaders reportedly are requesting an hour-long Zoom meeting with Barra. The alternate suggestion is calling for her immediate resignation if she does not change her position that Black-owned media does not deserve meaningful economic inclusion and we are not worth meeting with.
“We are requesting a one hour Zoom meeting with you and several of your key board members and us, the largest Black Owned Media companies in America, so we can resolve this very important issue and have a long-term partnership that’s mutually beneficial for General Motors and the African American consumers,” the ad reads, according to additional details provided by The Detroit Free Press.
CLICK ON DETROIT reported that General Motors said that the company is dedicated to increase diversity within its marketing and partner agencies. More information can be found via the link here.