This doesn't sound right
Two former camera operators for The Tonight Show are claiming that Questlove got them fired over a racist group text that they were included in against their wishes.
According to TMZ, Kurt Decker and Michael Cimino have filed a lawsuit against Questlove and the network claiming that they were fired over something they had no control over and that racial animus was to blame. Decker and Cimino ― who are white ― allege that their race played a part in the decision to fire them after they received a text from another crew member.
TMZ reports that a stagehand sent a racist text to Decker, Cimino, and Roots member Mark Kelley during a taping. Cimino and Decker claimed that they explained this story to NBC executives in order to put some distance between themselves and the text they say they never responded to.
However, Questlove caught wind of the text and allegedly demanded that the camera operators be fired.
The lawsuit claims that their race explicitly led to their being let go. They say that the Roots’ drummer “pressured NBC to fire all of the Caucasian employees involved in the incident.” Mark Kelley, who plays in the The Roots and is black, was not punished over the message.
NBC has released a statement saying that Questlove had nothing to do with their dismissal.
“NBC is committed to providing a work environment in which all individuals are treated with respect and dignity,” they said. “We have strong policies in place that protect against discrimination in any form. The decision about these plaintiffs was the company’s alone.”
Questlove’s representative also spoke to the gossip website and took umbrage at the notion that his client’s actions were racist.
“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,” they said.
It’s all quite a bit more serious than the last time the show ran afoul on race relations by having Miley Cyrus create the wypipo remix of “Bodak Yellow” as part of Jimmy Fallon’s ongoing Wheel of Musical Impressions bit.
Reaction to that might have been even harsher than the one sent out by Questlove’s rep. Twitter blew up over the idea of Miley Cyrus taking on the regular degular schmegular hit.
“Saw something about Miley Cyrus covering ‘Bodak Yellow’ and I immediately thought about vegan oxtails,” wrote Desus from the Bodega Boys podcast.
“I don’t want to watch Miley Cyrus do a motherf**king thing with ‘Bodak Yellow,’ wrote user @beauty_jackson.
“The words ‘Watch Miley Cyrus give Bodak Yellow a pop makeover’ are engraved on the gates to Hell,” wrote @RantingOwl.
What do you think?
As for Questlove, he has too much on his plate to let this lawsuit get him down. He’s working on a throwback-aping album meant to sound like classic Roots called End Game.
“The main difference is that every album has been linear. No album has sounded like the one that came before it,” he said of the album in an interview with Miami New Times. “This is the first time I am purposefully trying to steer the direction to the classic era of the 1999 Roots.”
What do you think? Did Quest do this? Sound off in the comments, and be sure to SHARE this article.