Diddy demands change from corporate America: ‘We are prepared to weaponize our dollars’
Rapper and business mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs is calling out General Motors and corporate America at large in an open letter.
In the letter released Thursday, titled “If You Love Us, Pay Us: A letter from Sean Combs to Corporate America,” Combs criticizes GM for failing to fairly invest in Black-owned media, exploiting Black culture and more.
“The same feet these companies use to stand with us in solidarity are the same feet they use to stand on our necks,” Combs said.
Combs highlights his own digital cable television network, Revolt, as an example of the racial disparities between big corporations and how they invest in Black-owned companies. Combs said though Revolt receives advertising revenue from GM, the relationship “is not an example of success.”
Happy 50th birthday, Diddy! The rapper and producer celebrates his 50th birthday on November 4. Check out his life and career in pictures. (Photo: Roy Rochlin, Getty Images)
“REVOLT, just like other Black-owned media companies, fights for crumbs while GM makes billions of dollars every year from the Black community,” Combs said.
In his letter, Combs claims GM spent $3 billion on adverting and estimates only $10 million was invested into Black-owned media companies, less than 1% of its ad budget.
USA TODAY has reached out to General Motors for comment.
“Like the rest of Corporate America, General Motors is telling us to sit down, shut up and be happy with what we get,” Combs said.
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
‘Hip-hop has never been respected’: Diddy slams Grammys in scathing Clive Davis event speech
Combs is calling for GM and corporate America to reinvest an equitable percentage back into the Black community. He said if Black consumers make up 15% of a corporation’s revenue, then at least 15% should be invested back into Black-owned media companies.
“The same way you understand the power of our dollars, we understand our power to take them away from any corporation that doesn’t give us the economic inclusion we deserve,” Combs said.
He ends the letter with a warning to companies: “We are prepared to weaponize our dollars.
“The time is now! Radical change is the only option. You’re either with us or you are on the other side.”
Sean "Diddy" Combs arrives for the Recording Academy and Clive Davis pre-Grammy gala. (Photo: Mark Ralston, AFP via Getty Images)
This isn’t the first time Combs has addressed unfair treatment. Combs denounced the Grammys in a speech at a Clive Davis event last year, criticizing what he called a lack of respect for hip-hop by the Recording Academy.
“Black music has never been respected by the Grammy’s to the point that it should be,” Combs said.
Combs also launched his own political party in October: “Our Black Party.” Combs said that party’s goal is “to advance a political agenda that addresses the needs of Black people.”
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Follow reporter Asha Gilbert @Coastalasha. Email: [email protected].
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