By saying that the video was the "funniest thing I've ever seen," @UncleRUSH is endorsing rape culture and disrespecting a revered elder.—
Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) August 15, 2013
Hip hop tycoon Russell Simmons showed his true character when his new endeavor “All Def Digital” published a despicable video entitled “Harriet Tubman Sex Tape,” which insulted the memory of an American hero, and enraged many on Twitter. Both “Harriet Tubman” and “Russell Simmons” were trending on Twitter Wednesday night as thousands of people discovered the disgustingly insulting video.
Russell Simmons tweeted his approval, then deleted the message late in the evening. But by then a screenshot of his tweet was already circulating:
Twitter users, including many on the Left, gasped:
I am livid and disgusted. I actually feel like vomitting. Utter disrespect of Harriet Tubman's legacy, and what she fought for.—
Adrienne Gravish (@AquafarE) August 15, 2013
Shame on Russell Simmons. To allow his 2 million followers to poke fun at, and to sexualize Harriet Tubman, is disgusting.—
Hey T Hobbs (@SpiffyTiffyH) August 14, 2013
Some detected a double standard:
Heaven forbid someone make a "parody" about Trayvon's murder. Russell and Global Grind would be all on it, but Harriet Tubman?Fuck her, huh?—
LysineLeucineProline (@BrownNlovely) August 15, 2013
One of the actors involved responded to her detractors:
Really? Only after seeing the final product did she see that it was insulting?
Just before midnight last night, Russell Simmons posted this apology:
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 and it’s hard to offend me. 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 Harriet Tubman outwitting the slave master, I thought it was politically correct. Silly me. I guess I’m older now and instead of fighting for one piece of content, I can 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.
He also tweeted this:
I I guess I have a sensitivity chip missing. Lol. Haven't been in trouble since defjam. Sorry if people r hurt :-(—
Russell Simmons (@UncleRUSH) August 15, 2013
The response was mixed:
There was also this tweet, which Simmons had the incredible arrogance to retweet:
Finally, if you’re so inclined, you can view a repost of the offensive video here. Obviously not safe for work. Or anything else really.
Editor’s note: An offensive tweet was inadvertently included in this post. It has been removed by the managing editors.