An Amazon seller on Thursday filed a proposed class-action suit claiming the retail giant discriminated against straight white cisgender men by creating support initiatives for creators of color and specialized search filters that allow shoppers to see results from minority-owned sellers.
Jonathan Correll alleged that Amazon’s diversity campaigns, including Black History Month and Hispanic Heritage Month promotions, “denies equal accommodations, advantages, facilities, privileges, or services to members of every other race, is racist, and violates California Civil Code sections 51 and 51.5.” He asserts that the public would be “furious” if Amazon created campaigns and support programs exclusively for straight white men.
He also identified Amazon’s Black Business Accelerator program as one of the “most brazen” acts of discrimination because many benefits such as free imaging for 50 products and a $500 startup credit are only available to Black sellers.
Amazon’s Seller Certification program, a feature on Amazon Business accounts, is another source of contention for Correll. He claims it is discriminatory because customers can limit search results to show sellers who are Black, Hispanic, Native American, or Pacific Islander before other uncertified sellers. He says that because straight white men are not eligible for these certificates, Amazon is aiding, inciting, or at least facilitating “prejudiced and bigoted buyers” who prefer to purchase only from minority groups.
Correll’s complaint concludes that Amazon’s diversity promotions deprive heterosexual white men of equal accommodations and that these practices constitute a boycott or blacklist of straight white males. He seeks injunctive relief to eliminate the so-called discriminatory programs.
This case comes just days after a federal jury in North Carolina awarded $10 million to a former healthcare company executive who alleged he was fired for being a white man and replaced with two women in the company’s push to increase diversity at the corporate level.