Sean “Diddy” Combs was once known for his temper as much as he was his ability to connect dots and create trends. By rights, it’s how he earned the nickname “Puffy” back in the day. Apparently fed up with the mistreatment of Black businesses by large corporations that make tons of money from African Americans, Combs decided to pen a letter where he called out General Motors and companies like them for shunning their most ardent supporters.
Read the letter as penned by Combs in its entirety below, which begins with a quote from the great Desmond Tutu.
“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” – Desmond Tutu
The same feet these companies use to stand with us in solidarity are the same feet they use to stand on our necks.
When confronted by the leaders of several Black-owned media companies, General Motors (GM) listed my network, REVOLT, as an example of the Black-owned media it supports. While REVOLT does receive advertising revenue from GM, our relationship is not an example of success. Instead, REVOLT, just like other Black-owned media companies, fights for crumbs while GM makes billions of dollars every year from the Black community. Exposing GM’s historic refusal to fairly invest in Black-owned media is not an assassination of character, it’s exposing the way GM and many other advertisers have always treated us. No longer can Corporate America manipulate our community into believing that incremental progress is acceptable action.
Corporations like General Motors have exploited our culture, undermined our power, and excluded Black entrepreneurs from participating in the value created by Black consumers. In 2019, brands spent $239 billion on advertising. Less than 1% of that was invested in Black-owned media companies. Out of the roughly $3 billion General Motors spent on advertising, we estimate only $10 million was invested in Black-owned media. Only $10 million out of $3 billion! Like the rest of Corporate America, General Motors is telling us to sit down, shut up and be happy with what we get.
Read more on the following page.
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