Sunday, June 24, 2018
Nation & World

Questlove and NBC sued for racial discrimination in firing of white ‘Tonight Show’ cameramen

Questlove has led his band the Roots from the underground hip-hop scene to a permanent gig as the house musicians on "The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon." Along the way, he’s been an outspoken critic of racial injustice. In a Rolling Stone profile, he said he has been racially profiled many times, calling it "absolutely probably the most humiliating, lowest, lowest feeling a human being can have."

Now, he’s being sued for racial discrimination by two former camera operators for "The Tonight Show."

Kurt Decker and Michael Cimino’s lawsuit claims that following an incident in which the two received a "racist and misogynist" text message, Questlove convinced NBC to fire them because they are white. The two filed their lawsuit against both NBC and 47-year-old Questlove, whose real name is Ahmir Khalib Thompson, in Manhattan Supreme Court on Wednesday.

The network said in a statement to Deadline that it made the decision to fire Decker and Cimino on its own, adding, "NBC 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."

Questlove denied what he called the "ridiculous allegations made in the lawsuit" in a statement to Pitchfork. He added that "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."

Decker and Cimino said that they — among others — received an "unsolicited racist and misogynist text message from a ‘Tonight Show’ stagehand" on June 19, 2017. Neither the stagehand nor the content of the message is identified in the complaint.

The two claim that they were "shocked" to receive the message and "repulsed by its content." They said that they didn’t send the message to anyone. Instead, they complained to other NBC staffers about the message, including the Roots’ manager Keith McPhee.

The next day they were called into separate meetings in the human resources department. There, according to the complaint, they "both reiterated the same truthful story: that they did not know why they had received the Text Message, they both found it offensive, and neither had forwarded it to anyone else."

Cimini went a step further, telling a human resources representative that "he has a wife and two three-year-old children and that he does not condone that kind of language or ‘humor’ at home or at work."

NBC fired the two men on Aug. 3. They claim this was because of "Questlove’s insistence that all Caucasian employees who received the unsolicited message" be fired, according to the lawsuit. They also said Roots bassist Mark Kelley, who is black, received the text message and received no disciplinary action.

Decker and Cimino are seeking more than $1 million in damages.

Comments
Trump administration considers plan to use Coast Guard money to pay for border enforcement

Trump administration considers plan to use Coast Guard money to pay for border enforcement

WASHINGTON - The Trump administration, facing a growing immigration enforcement mission on the southern U.S. border, is considering a plan to shift money from the U.S. Coast Guard to other parts of the Department of Homeland Security, according to U....
Published: 06/22/18
Trump tells GOP to ‘stop wasting their time’ on immigration

Trump tells GOP to ‘stop wasting their time’ on immigration

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Friday told his fellow Republicans in Congress to "stop wasting their time" on immigration legislation until after November, dismissing his party’s struggle to surmount internal divisions. Trump’s tweets come ju...
Published: 06/22/18
The crying Honduran girl on the cover of Time was not separated from her mother, father says

The crying Honduran girl on the cover of Time was not separated from her mother, father says

The photo of the little girl crying as a U.S. Border Patrol agent patted down her mother became a symbol of the families pulled apart by the Trump administration’s "zero tolerance" policy at the border, even landing on the cover of Time magazine. But...
Published: 06/22/18
USF President Judy Genshaft sits on board of meat packer targeted in Ohio immigration raid

USF President Judy Genshaft sits on board of meat packer targeted in Ohio immigration raid

University of South Florida President Judy Genshaft sits on the board of directors of an Ohio-based meatpacking company where nearly 150 people were arrested this week in a surprise Immigration and Customs Enforcement raid.ICE had been investigating ...
Published: 06/21/18
Trump defends his hard-line immigration policies to cheers

Trump defends his hard-line immigration policies to cheers

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — Hours after reversing himself to end the forced separations of migrant families, President Donald Trump returned to the warm embrace of his supporters at a raucous rally to defend his hard-line immigration policies while unleashi...
Published: 06/21/18
Poll: Majority approve of Trump’s North Korea effort

Poll: Majority approve of Trump’s North Korea effort

WASHINGTON — A majority of Americans now approve of President Donald Trump’s handling of U.S. relations with North Korea, a change that comes after his historic summit with that country’s leader, Kim Jong Un. But most don’t believe Kim is serious abo...
Published: 06/21/18

Active shooter perceptions disproven

Washington PostThe terror of an armed gunman opening fire in public places has become an all-too-common occurrence, affecting American schools, churches, offices, holiday parties, government facilities and movie theaters.While the attacks differ in l...
Published: 06/20/18
In reversal, Trump signs order stopping family separation

In reversal, Trump signs order stopping family separation

WASHINGTON — Bowing to pressure from anxious allies, President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday ending the process of separating children from families after they are detained crossing the U.S. border illegally. It was a dramat...
Published: 06/20/18
Watch: Protesters interrupt homeland secretary Nielsen’s dinner at Mexican restaurant

Watch: Protesters interrupt homeland secretary Nielsen’s dinner at Mexican restaurant

WASHINGTON — About a dozen protesters heckled Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen about the Trump administration’s immigration policy as she ate dinner at a Mexican restaurant in Washington. The protesters entered MXDC Cocina Mexicana Tuesda...
Published: 06/20/18

Apple to set up iPhones to relay location for 911 calls

SAN FRANCISCO — Apple is trying to drag the U.S.’s antiquated system for handling 911 calls into the 21st century. If it lives up to Apple’s promise, the iPhone’s next operating system will automatically deliver quicker and more reliable information ...
Published: 06/18/18