A lawsuit has been filed against Nas Mass Appeal by former head of development Melissa Cooper, alleging racial discrimination.

Lawsuit accuses NAS' Mass Appeal of racism
Lawsuit accuses Nas Mass Appeal of racism

As per the Hollywood Reporter, Cooper claims that she was subjected to racist comments and eventually fired. The lawsuit was filed in a Manhattan court on Tuesday, October 17. Cooper, who is a white woman, claims that she was a victim of “venomous and racist comments about ‘white folk’ and ‘crackers.’” The lawsuit against the Nas’ multimedia company has raised concerns about racial discrimination in the music industry, which has been a long-standing issue.

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The lawsuit filed by Melissa Cooper alleges that she was subjected to racist comments while working on the Freaknik documentary, which is set to air on Hulu in 2024. According to Cooper, Jenya Meggs, the senior vice president for partnerships and content acquisition at Mass Appeal, was unhappy about her not being included in the documentary, and she allegedly texted an executive producer, referring to it as “usual white folk behavior.” Cooper’s filing includes other allegations of racial discrimination she experienced while working at Mass Appeal. These claims have raised concerns about the prevalence of racism in the music industry.

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According to the lawsuit filed by Melissa Cooper against Nas’ Mass Appeal, things turned hostile between Cooper and Jenya Meggs, resulting in Cooper’s removal from various projects by Peter Bittenbender, the company’s white CEO. The suit alleges that Bittenbender removed Cooper from various projects, including the Hip Hop 50 Live concert at Yankee Stadium scheduled for August 11, 2023. Cooper’s removal from this significant project, along with others that Meggs was staffed on, allegedly stripped Cooper of her primary role at Mass Appeal. The lawsuit highlights the systemic issue of racial discrimination in the music industry.