50 Cent is losing his cool. Curtis Jackson took to Instagram yesterday to complain about AT&T, which is in the midst of contract negotiations with premium cable channels Starz and Encore. The rapper, who produces the Starz show Power, called AT&T "racist," noting that "they are dropping all channels that are considered urban friendly." In addition, he cited a story from earlier this year in which AT&T fired one of its presidents after discovering he sent racist text messages. 50 Cent also implored cable subscribers to switch from AT&T's U-verse service to "anything else."
If AT&T and Starz fail to come to terms by the end of the month to renew their carriage agreement, roughly 6 million U-verse customers won't have access to Starz or Encore. Most importantly for 50 Cent, that means they won't be able to watch the rest of season two of Power.
The two companies appear to be in the middle of a typical PR battle as they negotiate carriage rights. In a statement to Deadline, AT&T said, "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."
In response, a Starz representative said, "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." The statement continues, "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."