Two former employees of The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon are citing racial discrimination as the reason for their termination. The Blast first reported camera operators Kurt Decker and Michael Cimino filed a lawsuit against the musician and NBC, claiming that Questlove “pressured NBC to fire all of the Caucasian employees involved in the incident.”
According to the lawsuit, “an unsolicited racist and misogynist text message from a Tonight Show stagehand” was received. Decker and Cimino claim that Mark Kelley, bassist for The Roots, received the text message, as well. Mark Kelley is African American. Decker and Cimino claim they were both suspended, though Kelley was not. They also claim Questlove demanded Kelley receive no discipline.
A rep denied the allegations in a statement to Rolling Stone:
"Questlove denies the ridiculous allegations made in this lawsuit. Racism is REAL and exists throughout the world and for these gentlemen to claim victim is not only disrespectful to Questlove and his bandmates but to all that truly endure racism on a daily basis," a spokesperson said. "As NBC already stated, the decisions made regarding these employees were made by NBC, alone."
NBC continued to stand in their truth after releasing this official statement:
“NBC is committed to providing a work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity. We have strong policies in place that protect against discrimination in any form. The decision about these plaintiffs was the company’s alone.”
Questlove has remained mum about the whole ordeal. This morning, he briefly spoke about it via Twitter after retweeting another publication.
Not that I should have to RT this bullshucks but yeah....that time I got sued for being offended by racism https://t.co/RSe5GK1HdH— Questlove Gomez (@questlove) January 25, 2018
Decker and Cimino are each seeking $1 million in damages.