Rowe Entertainment, Inc. et al
The William Morris Agency, Inc. et al
Introduction to Complaint filed August 9, 1999 by attorneys Martin Gold & Christine Lepera:
The following 47-page complaint, "Rowe Entertainment, Inc. et al v. The William Morris Agency, Inc. et al" details how black promoters in the concert entertainment industry, because of their race, are systematically blacklisted from promoting any white artists and are almost always excluded from promoting concerts given by major black artists. This is because of a conspiracy involving the major talent and booking agencies like William Morris Agency and Creative Artists Agency and prominent white promoters. As a result, great harm is inflicted upon the lives and livelihoods of black promoters and the black business community and ticket prices increase for concertgoers.
The concert industry generates vast profits for those who book major talent and promote their concerts. During a test period described in the lawsuit, of 2460 "Major Concerts" presented, 2175 were performed by white acts ("White Concerts"). Black promoters promoted none of these concerts. White promoters promoted 100% of them. During the same test period, approximately 250 concerts were performed by black acts ("Black Concerts"). "Black promoters promoted six black concerts, or less than 3%. White promoters promoted in excess of 97% of the Black Concerts." (35 Major Concerts were of Hispanic music, which are omitted from black and white totals).
The conspiracy to boycott black promoters, the complaint points out, virtually eliminates competition among promoters and prevents concerts from being promoted at lower prices which would benefit artists and the public. The conspiracy also negatively impacts the black business community because white promoters rarely retain the services of black-owned businesses servicing concerts, such as caterers, transportation providers and security services. "This has a negative ripple effect throughout the black community."