Articles Pertaining to the Rowe Case

Black Concert Promoters Sue Over Alleged Racism
A $700 million lawsuit claims top talent agencies, concert promoters conspired against African-Americans

By Randy Reiss, 11/23/1998

Five black concert promoters have filed a $700 million lawsuit against 11 talent agencies and 29 concert promoters, charging that a longstanding conspiracy bars blacks from promoting white performers and top black acts.

"These guys just got tired of riding at the back of the bus," explained Robert Donnelly, a music-industry attorney representing the plaintiffs. "We want to enjoin the conspirators from being able to block black promoters from bidding on concerts."

The suit, filed late Thursday in U.S. District Court in New York City, makes civil rights and anti-trust claims against 11 major talent agencies and 29 promoters, including the talent-agent giants William Morris Agency and Creative Artists Agency; corporate concert-booker and venue-operator SFX Entertainment, Inc., and many of the latter's recently purchased subsidiaries, including Bill Graham Enterprises, Inc., Sunshine Promotions Inc., and Delsener/Slater Enterprises, Ltd.

The plaintiffs — Rowe Entertainment, Inc., of Atlanta; BAB Productions, Inc., of Charlotte, N.C.; Sun Song Productions Inc., of New York; Summitt Management Corporation of Memphis, Tenn.; and Lee King Productions of Jackson, Miss. -- allege they "are never contacted by the booking agent defendants to promote concerts to be given by white artists, and are often excluded from the promotion of concerts to be given by major black artists, even though the plaintiffs are fully able to promote all such concerts and to compete with white concert promoters for all concert promotion business."

Representatives for William Morris Agency, Creative Artists Agency and SFX Entertainment had no comment on the suit. The plaintiffs referred calls for comment back to their lawyers.

At the heart of the suit lies the accusation that the promoters have been selected to promote up-and-coming acts but are shut out of the bidding process once those acts break into a bigger audience.

As an example, the suit claims that the Howard Rose Agency — also a defendant in the case — used the plaintiffs' services to promote '70s funk artists the Commodores. However, the suit alleges that once singer Lionel Richie became a mainstream star, the Howard Rose Agency exclusively worked with white concert-promoters...

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Black Promoters Protest Alleged Concert Industry Racism
Sign-carrying demonstrators rebuffed by William Morris Agency, Creative Artists Agency

By Teri Vanhorn, 2/11/99

LOS ANGELES — About 50 people gathered outside the office of the high-powered William Morris talent agency Thursday morning (Feb. 11) to protest alleged racism in the concert industry on behalf of five African-American promoters.

When the protesters, holding signs reading "This agency does not represent civil rights" and "Stop discrimination," were accused of trespassing by a security guard there, they moved on to the nearby Creative Artists Agency, another major entertainment firm, where they received similar treatment from security.

The protesters tried to deliver letters to both companies. The letters, written by the Black Promoters Association of America, urge the companies to provide black promoters equal rights to produce, present and work on concerts by white performers as well as top-selling black acts. The letters, however, were not accepted by either firm...

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Corruption In Our Federal Courts
By LLBLibra December 30, 2011 (Author Robert Parker aka LLBLibra has a Bachelor of Laws Degree from North Carolina Central University Law School)

Judge Robert P. Patterson's actions were both a shame and a profound disgrace. His name should forever live in infamy much like Chief Justice Roger B. Taney whose deplorable decision in the Dred Scott v. Sanford case (which held that black people have no rights which white people are bound to respect) continues to live in the actions of judges like Robert P. Patterson. He should be brought before the Congress and impeached for his misconduct.

Until America plays by "one set of rules" there will forever be disparities in the justice system. And until there is real fairness, impartiality and an equal application of the law, America will remain a two tier society. It is obviously evident that corruption reared its ugly head in this case and it should outrage all black people in particular as well as all fair minded and well intentioned people of whatever race, creed or color in general when justice is thwarted and the rights of litigants are subverted by a judge that didn't care about the proper exercise of his duties, obligations and the oath of office that he swore to uphold the Constitution and laws of the United States.

And let's not forget about the lawyers Martin Gold and Ray Heslin that lied, manipulated and maligned the plaintiffs in this case. They too should be disbarred from the practice of law...

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Roseanne Barr and Legendary Concert Promoter Leonard Rowe Talk About Racism in Hollywood
By Kathleen Wells, J.D., Huffington Post, 7/11/12

The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice. — Martin Luther King, Jr.

On June 24, I had the opportunity to co-host with Roseanne Barr on her show, heard each Sunday on KCAA radio.

Our guest was legendary concert promoter and long-time friend and manager of Michael Jackson, Leonard Rowe.

Our subject: racism in Hollywood.

Both Roseanne and I were shocked, but not surprised by the things we were hearing from Mr. Rowe. And we were shocked, but not surprised by the document(s) Mr. Rowe had in his possession and that were filed with the Court, yet completely ignored by the Court, to date.

Mr. Rowe talked about the inequities he witnessed in the industry against black concert promoters during his 30-plus years in the entertainment business. Inequities such as: no black concert promoter, in the 114 year history of The William Morris agency, had ever been allowed to engage in a contract with a white entertainer or artist for a concert performance. Yet, in reverse, white concert promoters are able to engage in contracts with artists, of any race — black or white.

Another example: black promoters are required to pay a 50 percent deposit for the artist that they will promote for a concert. Yet, conversely, white promoters pay 0 to 10 percent as a deposit to promote any and all artist of their choice.

These are just two examples of the iniquities. There are many others, and those examples have been clearly illustrated in Mr. Rowe's 14-year racial discrimination and antitrust lawsuit against the "Hollywood" elite -- The William Morris Agency and Creative Artists Agency. (See Rowe Entertainment vs. The William Morris Agency.)

Mr. Rowe's lawsuit has the potential to chart a new path in which Hollywood conducts its business affairs -- i.e., to do business with people with no regard to race. The laws of this country say that this must be done. Rowe also states that this is 2012, not 1912...

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Complaint Review: The Willie Gary Law Firm
By Brenda Davis, Ripoff Report, 2/24/14

Attorney Willie E. Gary of the law firm Gary, Williams, Parenti, Watson, and Gary, of Stuart, Florida conspired with co-council and the opposing side, in the landmark anti-trust and civil rights case, Rowe Ent. Vs. The William Morris Agency (98 civ 8272), by concealing key evidence from his own clients and the court that contained the word nigger being used by the defendants some 349 times in their day to day emails...

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Hollywood Heavy Hitters Hit With 500 Million Dollar Liens
By Kathleen Wells, counterpunch, 3/10/14

During litigation of Rowe Entertainment v. The William Morris Agency, Mr. Rowe paid out of his own pocket, $200,000.00, to retrieve email evidence which later revealed the egregious nature in which executives at William Morris and Creative Artists Agency referred to black people as "niggers," "spooks," "coons" and "monkeys," among other names. Not only was this email evidence concealed from Mr. Rowe by the defendants and their law firms, but by his own attorneys, as well...

Absent Mr. Gary's betrayal and duplicitous conduct, Mr. Rowe feels that his case would not have been dismissed by defendant's summary judgment motion. Mr. Gary did what very few attorneys would ever think about doing to their own race — he betrayed not only his own client, but his own race of people, in order to enrich himself, states Rowe.

Here is a bit of the data underlying Rowe's lawsuit: In the 114 year history of The William Morris Agency, no black concert promoter has ever been allowed to engage in a contract with a white entertainer or artist for a live concert performance. Yet, white concert promoters are able to engage in contracts with artists, of all races, be they black or white. The law plainly states that no person, can be denied the right to engage in a contract, based on their race.

Also, black concert promoters have always been required to pay a fifty (50) percent deposit upfront, for the artist that they where allowed to promote for a concert, which consisted of only black artist. Yet, conversely, white promoters have always only paid zero (0) to ten (10) percent as a deposit to promote any and all artists of their choice, be they white or black. Rowe literally submitted over 2,000 contracts to the court, demonstrating, the inequities and disparities. These examples I cite of the double standards against black concert promoters are in no way exhaustive...

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