Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
Statement on Diverse Programming and Revolt
Comcast is proud of our commitment to diversity and inclusion and the recognition we have received for being a top company for Diversity & Inclusion in America. We have a strong record for diversity in our workforce, in our supplier chain, in our community impact, and in our programming – both in terms of distribution to our customers and content creation. In fact, Comcast has an unmatched record of supporting diverse and independent networks, carrying over 160 independent networks like Revolt, 100 of which are targeted to diverse audiences. We understand that viewers want and deserve greater diversity in and broader access to quality content. And we are working hard to satisfy those customer preferences.
We are proud to have launched eight new minority owned cable channels since 2011, including being the first company to launch Revolt. Our initial carriage deal, which was negotiated with Revolt represented a true partnership to bring the channel into millions of homes. From the start, we provided a long-term commitment to carriage of the channel and to its success as well as other African American owned channels that we carry on our systems. Revolt understood from the outset that we are only one company in a complex video ecosystem representing only about 20% of homes, and that to be successful, programmers need carriage beyond Comcast.
We are fierce defenders of the civil rights of minorities and women in America – and of the civil rights laws. Any characterization of our cable programming dispute with Byron Allen as an attack on the civil rights laws is simply not accurate. If there was ever any question about that issue, any objective examination of the arguments at the Supreme Court demonstrate that there has been no attempt to undermine the civil rights laws. Comcast’s focus has always been limited to restoring the interpretation of Section 1981 to the way it has been interpreted for decades everywhere in this country other than in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. None of the Supreme Court Justices seemed to see this case as an opportunity to narrow or weaken the civil rights laws, and instead focused on the narrow technical issue that we raised. The fears that this case would have broad implications on civil rights enforcement should be put to rest after the oral argument.
In the end, this case will not make it harder for victims of discrimination to be heard, and will have no long-run implications for civil rights enforcement in the U.S.
David L. Cohen is Senior Executive Vice President and the Chief Diversity Officer of Comcast Corporation.