Questlove has denied the “ridiculous” accusations of racial discrimination made against him in a new federal lawsuit.
The Roots founder was accused of racism for pressuring TV bosses to fire camera operators Kurt Decker and Michael Cimino from The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
The famed 47-year-old drummer, whose group is the house band, denied the “ridiculous” claims in a statement.
According to a lawsuit obtained by The Blast, the two white men were working on the show in June, 2017 when they, alongside The Roots bassist Mark Kelley, received “an unsolicited racist and misogynist text message from a Tonight Show stagehand.”
When they reported it to the band’s manager Keith McPhee and a production manager, they were immediately suspended, but Kelley was not, which led to the claim of Questlove “pressuring” TV bosses to fire all of the Caucasian employees involved in the incident.
The men claimed Questlove covered for his bandmate and protected him from the network.
Decker and Cimino are seeking $1 million in damages.
Questlove has responded to the lawsuit via a statement from his representatives, which read:
“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 band mates, but to all that truly endure racism on a daily basis.
“As NBC already stated, the decisions made regarding these employees were made by NBC, alone.”
Questlove is pictured above playing his drum kit on the sidewalk in Tribeca, NYC on Nov. 07, 2017.
Photos by JosiahW / BACKGRID