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Full-page ad blasts GM CEO Mary Barra as racist

Jamie L. LaReau, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Automotive News

Leaders of several major Black-owned media companies, including Byron Allen and Ice Cube, accused General Motors CEO Mary Barra of being racist for what they described as her refusal to meet with them.

They are asking for an hour-long Zoom meeting with her or, in the alternative, her resignation.

That's according to a full-page ad that appeared on page 3A in Sunday's Detroit Free Press accusing Barra of refusing to meet with them "consistently, over time and after multiple requests."

The ad was signed by the heads of the seven Black-owned media companies including rapper and actor Ice Cube, who co-founded pro-basketball league BIG3, TV and film production company Cubevision, and Contract with Black America (CWBA), which he started with the goal of initiating dialogues about racism.

Also signing the ad was native Detroiter Byron Allen, head of Allen Media Group, and former NBA player Ulysses “Junior” Bridgeman, who bought Ebony Media last year after bidding $14 million for it in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

In response to the ad, GM said it aspires to be the most inclusive company in the world, and that includes how it allocates its advertising expenditures.


"We have increased our planned spending with both diverse-owned and diverse-dedicated media across our family of brands," said GM spokesman Pat Morrissey in an email. He did not provides specifics.

'No one happy with GM'

The Black-owned media group wants GM to allocate at least 5% of its ad budget to Black-owned media companies, said Allen in an interview with the Free Press on Sunday.

The ad says "less than 0.5% goes to media companies owned" by African Americans, calling that "horrendous, considering that we as African Americans make up approximately 14% of the population in America and we spend billions buying your vehicles."


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