Questlove Sued by Two Former ‘Tonight Show’ Workers for Racial Discrimination
The lawsuit was obtained by The Blast, and the plaintiffs Kurt Decker and Michael Cimino and both were camera operators working on the late-night show. They allege that on June 19, 2017, they received a text message from a stagehand on the show that was “unsolicited racist and misogynist.” The text was also received by Mark Kelley who is an African-American bassist for The Roots. The plaintiffs say they did not respond to but went and reported the message to the manager of The Roots, Keith McPhee, and Bryon King, the technical production manager at NBC.
Decker and Cimino were immediately suspended, and the company went on a seven-week investigation. Mark Kelley was not, and the plaintiffs are claiming at the behest of Questlove, he was not disciplined. In the same regard, the drummer is said to have “pressured NBC to fire all of the Caucasian employees involved in the incident.” Decker and Cimino are seeking a million dollars in damages.
According to sources, NBC is saying that they two former employees failed to report the text message at all. In a statement to The Blast, NBC says it 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 not made a statement.