Thursday, August 15, 2013

Russel Simmons Apologizes for the Harriet Tubman Sex Tape on his Youtube Channel

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Russell Simmons has apologized for a video that appeared on his YouTube channel. The "Harriet Tubman Sex Tape" depicts an actress portraying the famous abolitionist having sex with her white master "Massa" in order to allow her to run the Underground Railroad.

Harriet Tubman is an iconic American and an inspirational figure for African Americans and women everywhere.

According to her Wiki page, "Harriet Tubman was an African-American abolitionist, humanitarian, and Union spy during the American Civil War. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made more than nineteen missions to rescue more than 300 slaves[1] using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. She later helped John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harpers Ferry, and in the post-war era struggled for women's suffrage."

Russell Simmons who has previously been known as quite sensitive to race issues, including supporting The Butler movie, came under intense fire from AA bloggers and on Twitter for the video. The sex tape was quite an insensitive joke and debases the work that Harriet Tubman did, attributing it a white man, and to getting sexual favors.

Simmons has now issued an apology on Globalgrind and removed the video. He says in the statemant that he was contacted by his "buddies" at the NAACP asking for removal of the video.

"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."

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