50 Cent Calls AT&T "Racist," Implores Subscribers to Drop Service
Millions of homes are at risk of losing the Starz and Encore channels due to an unreached agreement between AT&T and Starz, which 50 Cent's 'Power' airs on.
Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson is alleging that AT&T is "racist."
In three separate Instagram posts on Saturday, the rapper and Southpaw actor made the claims in response to the ongoing negotiations between Starz and AT&T U-verse, which puts half a million AT&T homes at risk of not being able to view the upcoming episode of Starz's Power that is in its second season. Jackson co-stars in the series and also co-executive produced.
"Man Im sorry I have to say this, but AT&T is racist they have had issues in the past and here we go again. 500,000 homes will not be able to view the next episode of POWER. #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO #SMSAUDIO," he first posted early Saturday afternoon.
Shortly after, he posted a photo of a April 29, 2015 Associated Press article with the headline "AT&T fires president for sending racist texts and images."
"When this was happening they were saying they had the STARZ and other networks that created programming targeting multiple ethnicity's now I guess (THERE NOT FUCKING WITH N—S). SMH #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO #SMSAUDIO," he captioned the second photo.
He continued with a third post, imploring AT&T subscribers to drop the provider: "Change your cable package from AT&T to anything else. It's 2015 and these people are still racist. They are dropping all channels that are considered urban friendly. This sh!t is sad #EFFENVODKA #FRIGO #SMSAUDIO."
A Starz spokesperson said in a statement given to The Hollywood Reporter: "Starz is in ongoing negotiations with AT&T U-verse to continue distributing its 30 STARZ and ENCORE channels and services at a fair and reasonable rate. Without a new agreement, the millions of AT&T customers who have chosen to subscribe and pay for STARZ and ENCORE will be at risk of losing these channels and the popular original programming like Power and Outlander, as well as thousands of movies. Starz has enjoyed a strong and mutually beneficial relationship with AT&T until now. We are hopeful AT&T will negotiate in good faith and that we will reach a fair agreement that allows its customers to continue to get great entertainment at a good value."
Starz and Encore serve a combined 57.5 million subscribers, including 23.7 million at Starz, and 33.8 million at Encore, making them the largest pair of premium flagship channels in the U.S.
According to a company spokesperson, Power is the highest performing series in Starz’s history with more than 6.3 million multiplatform viewers per episode and has the largest concentration of African-American viewers for a scripted premium series since 2006.
On Sunday, an AT&T spokesperson informed The Hollywood Reporter that "In 2015, for the seventh consecutive year, DiversityInc named AT&T one of the Top 50 Companies for Diversity, ranking us #7," and issued the following statement addressing 50 Cent's claims:
"Starz and their paid talent can spin up whatever they like, but the bottom line is we're NOT going to negotiate a deal that is bad for customers. In these negotiations, our customers are all that matter to us."
3:23 p.m. July 19: Updated with the statement from AT&T.