50 Cent is an executive producer and co-star on the Starz drama Power, which is currently in the middle of its second season. As Deadline reports, Starz and AT&T U-Verse have been negotiating the terms of a new distribution agreement for months now, but talks appear to have stalled, and if a deal isn’t reached by the end of the month, half a million AT&T homes might not be able to see Starz shows like Power. According to a Starz spokesperson:
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.
50 Cent doesn’t like this. Power is pulling in record viewership numbers for Starz, and over half of those 6 million viewers are African-American, which is more than any other scripted show on premium cable. Thus, in a series of posts on Twitter and Instagram, 50 Cent is accusing AT&T of racism and “dropping all channels that are considered urban friendly.”
This is what an AT&T spokesperson had to say in response: “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.”