HOUSTON (CN) – Kroger fired a black manager and then misappropriated his likeness by airing a TV commercial featuring him 63 times, to curry favor with the black community, the former manager claims in Harris County Court.
Russell Richard says he created the commercial and starred in it, and that Kroger aired it during The Wash Allen Show, which targets Houston’s black community. He says the grocery chain kept airing the commercial even after firing him, “and they continued this deception until Richard learned of it and demanded that they stop.”
Richard says that “Prior to his termination, (he) developed and, with defendants’ enthusiastic approval, implemented a Community Enhancement Strategy aimed at marketing defendant’s business to the African American community.”
Richard says Kroger “consciously misrepresented” that its manager of community affairs was still a black man. He says Kroger unceremoniously fired him after 12 years with the company and replaced him with a non-African American.
Richard demands damages for privacy invasion and misappropriation of his likeness. He is represented by Al Odom.