Sean “Diddy” Combs is putting corporate America on notice.
The hip-hop mogul has penned an open letter in which he calls out corporations including General Motors for the lack of financial support for Black-owned media brands. In his letter, titled “If You Love Us, Pay Us: A Letter From Sean Combs to Corporate America,” the REVOLT founder criticized company executives for mistreating the Black community by not investing in them.
While REVOLT does receive advertising revenue from GM, Diddy says it’s only a fraction compared to other media brands. “REVOLT, just like other Black-owned media companies, fights for crumbs while GM makes billions of dollars every year from the Black community,” he wrote. “Corporations like General Motors have exploited our culture, undermined our power, and excluded Black entrepreneurs from participating in the value created by Black consumers.”
We’re done letting corporations manipulate our culture into believing incremental progress is acceptable action.
IF YOU LOVE US, PAY US.
Here’s my letter to corporate America.https://t.co/zm0zNtaX7p
— Diddy (@Diddy) April 8, 2021
Diddy claims that of the roughly $3 billion General Motors spent on advertising, only $10 million was invested in Black-owned media (GM has refuted Diddy’s statement, saying it spends “significantly less $3 billion in advertising per year”).
“It’s disrespectful that Black-owned media companies only represent 1% of the total advertising market,” he said. “It’s disrespectful that distributors refuse to carry Black-owned media brands in an era where our impact and influence is undeniable. It’s disrespectful that the same community that represents 14% of the population and spends over $1.4 trillion annually is still the most economically undervalued and underserved at every level. To repeat, $1.4 TRILLION ANNUALLY! The Almighty Black Dollar!”
He implores corporate America to invest in Black communities at a more fair rate. “We demand that Corporate America reinvest an equitable percentage of what you take from our community back into our community,” he added. “If the Black community represents 15% of your revenue, Black-owned media should receive at least 15% of the advertising spend.”
Diddy ended with an ultimatum. “We are prepared to weaponize our dollars,” he said. “If you love us, pay us! Not a token investment. Not a charity check or donation.”
His letter follows a recent ad in the Detroit Free Press and The Wall Street Journal, in which the leaders of seven Black-owned media companies, including Byron Allen and Ice Cube, accused GM CEO Mary Barra of refusing to meet with them “consistently, over time and after multiple requests.” According to the Chicago Tribune, GM has responded by agreeing to a series of meetings with Black-owned media while pledging to increase its advertising spend in the segment.