Russell Simmons is trending on Twitter today for all the wrong reasons.He managed to piss off a whole lot of people with a video parodying abolitionist heroine Harriet Tubman, with a “sex tape” video. Kinda makes Don Lemon’s scathing rebuke of him on-point. I have never found Russell Simmons, who helped to create the gangsta culture, credible on matters of race. He let his own daughters down with such a crass portrayal of a woman.
The video, entitled “Harriet Tubman Sex Tape” revisits the story of her efforts to rescue hundreds of slaves by parodying her as having used her sexuality to outsmart slaveowners and thereby obtaining their freedom. The video shows Harriet Tubman engaged in aggressive sex acts with a white plantation owner. The implication that the only way Harriet Tubman could achieve such major feats was to use sex as a weapon is reprehensible and insulting to all blacks.
I cannot fathom how Russell Simmons and the actors/actresses involved could possibly think this was funny. This buffoonery is an insult to the legacy of the people who fought against slavery and later Jim Crow laws in America. It’s an affront.
Russell Simmons issued an apology after removing the video due to calls from the NAACP:
In the whole history of Def Comedy Jam, I’ve never taken down a controversial comedian. When my buddies from the NAACP called and asked me to take down the Harriet Tubman video from the All Def Digital YouTube channel and apologize, I agreed.
I’m a very liberal person with thick skin. My first impression of the Harriet Tubman piece was that it was about what one of actors said in the video, that 162 years later, there’s still tremendous injustice. And with Harriet Tubman outwitting the slave master? I thought it was politically correct. Silly me. I can now understand why so many people are upset. I have taken down the video. Lastly, I would never condone violence against women in any form, and for all of those I offended, I am sincerely sorry.
I guess Don Lemon got the last laugh. Russell Simmons should re-read the five things Don Lemon suggested that the black community must do to pull itself up.
You can watch the video over at the Hinterland Gazette. It’s hard to stomach. I don’t know how he thought denigrating Harriet Tubman was funny.
— Trish (D-Queen Bee) (@ExPoleDancer) August 15, 2013
This was cross-posted at The Hinterland Gazette.