Is Magic Johnson pulling a little presto change-o of his own to make it look like his new business venture is black owned? Some suspect the answer is yes.
A petition is circulating that criticizes Johnson for allegedly acquiring government monies and major advertisers for his new business venture, Aspire TV, by positioning it as a black network, when in fact, it is anything but. The petition, which is posted on Change.org claims that the network is in actuality being run by “GMC TV and GMC TV executives, which are all white.”
Aspire was launched in 2012 by Johnson as a new network targeting African-American audiences. Aspire was born after a battle waged by Maxine Waters in a congressional hearing over the merger of Comcast with NBCUniversal, which was finalized in 2011. A deal was struck in which Comcast was committed to carry several minority-owned channels. In all, there four networks, including Aspire. Johnson debuted Aspire as he stated at the the would present “positive, uplifting images of African Americans.”
Now, the petition claims that while the programming is black the executives running the station aren’t. There has been no reported response by the Magic camp or GMC TV that we can find. We took a quick look at the GMC TV website and couldn’t find much about the people who run the company. But we did find this opinion piece on News One, which goes after Johnson and GMC TV for putting people in positions that have no real authority and ultimately answering to white executives who make all of the decisions. It also says that GMC is a competitor to Aspire.
“Essentially, GMC has no good reason to make Aspire TV a great property. It would just take valuable market share from GMC,” the opinion piece says.
“This complete lack of control and/or interest on the part of Magic Johnson and his team is like a slap in the face of minorities – not just black people but people of color period,” the article continues.
Will this petition stop you from tuning in?