Under Sting Of The Backlash Whip, Comcast And Time Warner Withdraw Funding For FCC Honoree Dinner

Thinking twice on the matter, Comcast and Time Warner Cable (TWC) have both decided to withdraw significant donations totaling a combined $132,000 to a fundraising dinner honoring Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Mignon Clybrun, who is scheduled to receive a special "diversity advocate" award at the event.

The Walter Kaitz Foundation is a non-profit organization that promotes inclusion and participation of women and multi-ethnic professionals in the cable telecommunications industry. Much of the company's funding comes from an annual dinner, in which it honors individuals inside and outside the cable industry who made strides in diversity. This year the foundation is hosting Clyburn.

Time Warner Cable

Comcast and TWC have long supported the foundation with large donations, but with Comcast agreeing to acquire TWC in a deal worth approximately $45.2 billion, this year's donations raised suspicious eyebrows, as the deal is currently under review by the FCC.

Charisse Lillie, vice president of Comcast, informed the foundation that it was pulling its $110,000 contribution and doesn't want to be recognized during the event, The Washington Post reports. The same goes for TWC, which planned to donate $22,000 to the dinner.

"We do not want either [Mignon] or Kaitz to fall under a shadow as a result of our support for diversity in the cable industry, which is why we are withdrawing our support for the dinner," Lillie wrote in a letter.

Both companies said they would make equal "unrestricted donations" to the foundation, they just wouldn't be tied to the dinner.

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