A financial firm that represents Rihanna is at the center of a racism lawsuit filed by a marketing executive.
Court papers obtained by the New York Post reveal the suit was filed by Robert Solomon. The 42-year-old marketer claims that Flynn Family Office, a firm he used to work at as the head of the company’s marketing, fired him for speaking out against racist and sexist remarks.
In his suit, Solomon stated that a member of upper management was heard saying Rihanna was “hot” because she was “not too dark,” while he and another executive were chatting about which Caribbean nationalities are most attractive according to skin tone.
Flynn Family Office is noted for the wealthy clients it counsels. In addition to Rihanna, the Post notes the firm’s other high profile clients, which include Katie Holmes, Tory Burch and Kelly Ripa.
“It’s ironic and disturbing that an organization that sought high-profile women as clients would have such a sexist and misogynistic culture,” Solomon’s lawyer Walker Harman said in an interview.
The court papers go on to mention that Alan Kufeld, a partner at Flynn Family Office, regularly made comments about the attractiveness of women based on the color of their skin. The suit references one occasion, which alleges that Kufeld openly dissected the appearance of an office assistant, saying the worker ‘lost points in his eyes because she was too dark’.
Responding to Solomon’s claims, Flynn Family Office’s chief operating officer Rick Flynn says the claims were without merit.
“We at FFO have always championed the rights of women and minorities, particularly in the workplace,” said Flynn, who is also alleged to have taken part in the conversations referenced in Solomon’s suit.