It was reported in January that Questlove of The Roots and NBC were sued for racial discrimination by two former cameramen for “The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon”. Kurt Decker and Michael Cimino claimed that they received a racist text message from an NBC stagehand during the show. The text message was allegedly also sent to The Roots’ Mark Kelley. Decker and Cimino claim that they reported the text to management at NBC and Questlove “demanded” that they be terminated by the network.
According to Pitchfork, NBC filed to compel arbitration and dismiss the lawsuit back in March. After reports of the lawsuit reached the media, Questlove’s representatives denied the accusations saying “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.”
The case has been dismissed by a New York Supreme Court Judge and according to the New York Daily News, will go to arbitration due to the collective bargaining agreement between the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians labor union and NBC. Attorney for Decker and Cimino, Steve Wittles stated that “We believe NBC wronged these employees, regardless of color,” and they have not yet decided if the judge’s ruling would be appealed.