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Diddy Faces Backlash After Penning Open Letter to Corporate America Demanding Equal Pay for Black Creatives

Entertainment mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs is under fire after sharing his open letter to corporate America demanding that it pay Black creators what they’re worth. 

“When confronted by the leaders of several Black-owned media companies, General Motors (GM) listed my network, REVOLT, as an example of the Black-owned media it supports,” Diddy began his lengthy op-ed titled “If You Love Us, Pay Us.” He also noted that REVOLT receives ad revenue from the carmaker but didn’t consider that an example of success. 

MIAMI, FL – JANUARY 31: Sean John Combs also known by his stage name Diddy performs onstage during Shaq’s Fun House at Mana Wynwood Convention Center on January 31, 2020 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Jason Koerner/Getty Images)

He continued, “Instead, REVOLT, just like other Black-owned media companies, fights for crumbs while GM makes billions of dollars every year from the Black community. 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. No longer can Corporate America manipulate our community into believing that incremental progress is acceptable action.”

The 51-year-old accused corporations like GM of undermining “our power and excluded Black entrepreneurs from participating in the value created by Black consumers.” He also noted that brands spent $239 billion on advertising in 2019 but less than 1 percentof that was invested in Black-owned media companies.

Diddy shared his article on his social media platforms, writing, “We’re done letting corporations manipulate our culture into believing incremental progress is acceptable action.” His post was quickly reshared and scrutinized by many, including members of the entertainment world like Chicago rapper No Name, who has used her platform to speak out against social injustice and capitalism.

“Diddy… about a 150 million away from being a BILLIONAIRE diddy is shaming white corporations for a capitalist business model he almost completely replicated 🧐,” she wrote. “Abolish the black capitalist industrial complex 🙏🏾.”

Social media influencer Jessica Fyre aka Jessie Woo commented, “Diddy, it starts with us.” She continued, “I was recently approached to host a show for Revolt and it came without pay. We cannot keep knocking white folks for their disrespect towards minority creators while doing the same thing to each other. I encourage you to be the change we need.”

Meanwhile, other critics brought up Diddy’s alleged history of not adequately compensating his artists under his Bad Boy records label. Rapper-turned-pastor Mase called out the businessman in January 2020 on Instagram, claiming, “your past business practices knowingly has continued purposely starved your artist and been extremely unfair to the very same artist that helped u obtain that Icon Award.” Mase’s remarks came as a response to a speech about Black empowerment Diddy made at an industry event.

Journalist Ernest Owens commented, “Not Diddy writing about pay equity when so many artists under Bad Boy still claims he either ripped them off or left them in financial shambles with those oppressive contracts. But let me just sip on my Ashwagandha tea.”

A fourth wrote, “Free Mase brother, you can’t lecture corporations when you’ve stifled a black brother.” They added, “Allow Mase to own his records, take a reasonable price otherwise you ain’t different from these corporations manipulating artists.”

Diddy nor the reps for GM have publicly addressed the situation.

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