Rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs is demanding woke corporations step up and reinvest an “equitable percentage” into black communities, blasting “Corporate America” for manipulating the black community into “believing that incremental progress is acceptable action.”
In an April 8 op-ed, the “I’ll Be Missing You” artist sharply criticized big business– specifically companies such as General Motors (GM) — for what he described as exploiting black culture, undermining its power, and excluding black entrepreneurs.
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
GM, he said, listed his network, REVOLT, as “an example of the black-owned media it supports.” While he recognized that it does, in fact, receive advertising revenue from the corporation, Diddy said it is flawed to point to the relationship as 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,” he said. “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.”
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.
Diddy said it is “disrespectful” that black-owned media companies represent one percent of the total advertising market and 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,” he said, calling on Corporate America to “reinvest an equitable percentage of what you take from our community back into our community.”
As an example, he declared that if the black community represents 15 percent of a company’s revenue, black-owned media should receive that proportion of the company’s advertising expenditures.
“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,” he wrote, warning black Americans are “prepared to weaponize” their money.
Diddy left Corporate America with an ultimatum, warning there is no middle ground. His message comes as corporations continue to become increasingly more “woke,” prioritizing social justice issues championed by the left. In February, for example, Quaker Oats announced it would change the name of its famous Aunt Jemima syrup brand to Pearl Milling Company over concerns of “negative stereotypes.” Uncle Ben’s rice received a similar makeover, altering its “brand identity” to “end racial biases and injustices.”
More recently, corporate leaders have inserted themselves in the debate over legislation seeking to protect minors from receiving life-altering transgender surgery and drugs, as the battle continues to heat up across the U.S.