DJ FunkMaster Flex Accused Of ‘Accepting Kickbacks’ & Stealing Company Funds By Former Hot 97 Exec Who Claims He Was Fired For Being ‘Too White’

Funk Master Flex

DJ FunkMaster Flex Accused Of ‘Accepting Kickbacks’ & Stealing Company Funds By Former Hot 97 Exec Who Claims He Was Fired For Being ‘Too White’

Hip-hop vet DJ FunkMaster Flex is at the center of a racial discrimination lawsuit against Hot 97.

The radio station is reportedly being sued by one of their former executives who claim his race and allegations he made against the famed DJ led to his termination.

Funk Flex

Reportedly, the wrongful termination lawsuit was filed by former Hot 97 VP of Digital Operations, Stanley Pillman III. In the complaint, Pillman alleges that his bosses told him he was “too white” for the job at his firing, and claimed that his termination was actually in retaliation for accusations he made against their star radio host DJ FunkMaster Flex. In case you’re unfamiliar, the rapper and DJ, real name Aston George Taylor, Jr., has had a staple show on the station since 1992 and has brought notable hip-hop guests on-air over the years such as Kanye West, Meek Mill, and Nicki Minaj.

Pillman claims that his demise at the company began back in July of last year after Flex allegedly remarked to staffers that “the white boys are stealing from us,” which he says referred to him as well as Hot 97’s white COO/President Brad Tobin. After learning about the comment, Pillman says he subsequently went to HR and reported that Flex, along with the station’s SVP of Sales, were allegedly:

“involved in potential kick-backs and theft of company funds,”

Adding that Flex allegedly had given away:

“zero-dollar’ digital and on-air advertising… to clients without a contract and without collecting any fee,”

FunkMaster Flex

The following month, the former exec says he was called into a meeting with Tobin and the CEO of the station’s parent company, Rahsan-Rahsan Lindsay, where his race was allegedly implicated in their reasoning for firing him. Pillman claims in the lawsuit:

“At this meeting Mr. Lindsay stated that there was a feeling around the office that [Pillman] did not know anything about hip-hop and needed to listen to the… station…As the conversation continued, Pillman finally inquired, ‘Are you trying to say I am too white for the job?’ to which Mr. Lindsay replied, ‘Yes.’ Mr. Lindsay also stated that Pillman was a minority at this job.”

Stanley Pillman III

As part of his evidence, Pillman reportedly cites Flex’s alleged on-air jab at him that was made the day of his firing, where the radio personality stated:

‘You’re a bozo, effective immediately.’

Pillman went on to provide further evidence to his racial discrimination argument, claiming that his position was subsequently filled, temporarily by a Hispanic man and then permanently by a Black man. Additionally, Pillman claims that Tobin was also let go and was replaced by a Black man. He’s allegedly suing Hot 97’s parent company MediaCo Holding Inc. for retaliation and discrimination. He’s looking to get back his job and be awarded back pay, as well as compensatory damages for emotional harm, punitive damages, and attorney’s fees.

At this time, neither Hot 97, its parent company, nor Flex has responded to the suit.


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Authored by: Kay Johnson