The Roots’ Questlove and NBC — the network that airs The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon! — have been named in a discrimination lawsuit by two of the show’s former cameramen, according to The Blast. Kurt Decker and Michael Cimino allege The Roots drummer targeted them for termination because they’re white. Questlove has denied the allegations and and finds them “disrespectful.”
“Questlove denies the ridiculous allegations made in this lawsuit,” Questlove’s rep told HipHopDX in a statement. “Racism is REAL and exists throughout the world, and for these gentlemen to claim victim is not only disrespectful to Questlove and his band mates, but to all that truly endure racism on a daily basis.”
The rep concluded, “As NBC already stated, the decisions made regarding these employees were made by NBC alone.”
As stated in the lawsuit, Decker and Cimino received an allegedly “unsolicited racist and misogynist text message from a Tonight Show stagehand” last June, a text The Roots’ African-American bassist Mark Kelley also received. Both Decker and Cimino claim they didn’t reply and instead, reported it to a Roots manager and an NBC technical production manager.
After Decker and Cimino were suspended, they claim Questlove “pressured NBC to fire all of the Caucasian employees involved in the incident,” and wanted Kelley off the hook.
Decker and Cimino are both seeking a million dollars each in damages.