Yesha Callahan

Russell Simmons Issues An Apology & Removes Harriet Tubman Video


Early Thursday, Russell Simmons issued an apology for the Harriet Tubman “sex tape” video released by his All Def Digital YouTube channel. The disturbing and not-so-funny video received harsh criticism and rightfully so.  Many people felt it was a slap in the face for all of what Harriet Tubman stands for, and made light of the issue of rape.

In his apology posted on, Simmons offered these words:

“In the whole history of Def Comedy Jam, I’ve never taken down a controversial comedian,” he wrote. “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.”

Silly me? 

Well, silly us to think that a black man that attacked Don Lemon so hard for his comments about the black community would think twice for promoting and giving such bullshit the light of day.
  1. August 15, 2013 - Reply

    I am sick of ‘celebrities’ apologizing…keep your apology!

    • August 15, 2013 - Reply

      @Knotty Natural

      He would have never did that with a Jewish woman from the Holocaust

      • August 15, 2013 - Reply


        And you know it. He knows black folks have a history of never holding grudges.

    • August 15, 2013 - Reply

      @Knotty Natural

      Seriously, he clearly put a lot of thought into that tasteless video. I’m so tired of black men using black women as a punchline. Even black historical figures aren’t immune. What’s next Rosa Parks?
      But yeah, so frequently these are men that don’t respect black women anyway so should we be surprised.
      Funny that he didn’t think to go in on Susan B. Anthony first.

  2. August 15, 2013 - Reply

    If he honestly could not see how that video was offensive, he really needs to take a seat, and stop commenting about other people because it seems he has no empathy for anyone besides young men who came up the way he did.

    • August 15, 2013 - Reply


      Thank you for that honest statement. Some of the rappers of the late 80s, 90s and early 2000 are supposedly “Family” men who would not want their daughters or son to listen to some of the current tripe or even the tripe that they have put out. I’m tired of some of these rappers who would go out of their way to protect their own children, but wouldn’t give second thoughts about anyone else’s child.

  3. August 15, 2013 - Reply

    I am sick and tired of these black elite 1percenters like Jay-Z and Russell Simmons who feel that their bank account makes them unaccountable and immune to criticism from our community. We glorify the rich way to much in this society and this is why people like Jay, rick ross, lil wayne and rush feel that once they give a half ass im sorry that its enough..

    We have to start showing them its not enough.

    • August 15, 2013 - Reply


      And that means…VOTE WITH YOUR WALLET

      Unfortunately, too many stand for nothing!

      • August 15, 2013 - Reply

        @Lillian Mae

        I’ve been voting with my wallet for a very long time because I have no loyalty or allegiance to men and some women too, like him.

        I refuse to support anyone who does not inspire our people to acheive a better life and only offers mediocrity and blame as a culture while they enrich their own pockets.

        Maybe if other’s would actually pay close attention to the actions of men of his ilk, they’d see that they don’t have any genuine interest in their well-being and quality of life at all.

  4. August 15, 2013 - Reply

    He’s apology wasn’t sincere and it made me laugh. You can see all the bull in between the lines.

  5. August 15, 2013 - Reply

    apology NOT accepted! The ‘silly me’ bit shows that he’s not sorry 1 bit.

  6. August 15, 2013 - Reply

    All he had to do is say, “I’m thorry.”

    In all seriousness, it’s really sad how far some of us use humor to hide our pain and make a mockery of our history and ourselves for the entire world to see as entertainment.

    I have yet to see a sketch with Hitler and a Jew, or Anne Frank and a Nazi or Native American and a European -_-

    • August 15, 2013 - Reply

      @Sister Ashe

      ‘All he had to do is say, “I’m thorry.”’


  7. August 15, 2013 - Reply

    He’s a joke and dresses like a 13 year old boy. He clearly has the maturity level of one too.

  8. August 15, 2013 - Reply

    Uncle Russell can kick rocks on his way to having a seat.

  9. August 15, 2013 - Reply

    I bet he wouldn’t do a video about a Jewish woman in the Holocaust being raped. I wonder why…..

  10. August 15, 2013 - Reply

    what’s hilarious about this, is that black people support this guy over Don Lemon. Irony at its best. If we took time to listen to what Don Lemon said we might notice that it isn’t all that bad. Its an opinion meant to help us reclaim our communities… but Hip Hop is our bible though. irony.

    • August 15, 2013 - Reply


      I don’t speak for anyone other than myself. However, I can say with a straight face that I don’t support either of them. I knew long before Russ made his comments toward Don Lemon that he was full of it — and I am talking about years back, not months.

    • August 15, 2013 - Reply


      Don Lemon’s comments would’ve been, in my humble opinion, better served at a school or community center where there are young Black boys and girls, and not on CNN.

      His attempt, again, in my opinion, was to do the bidding of his master. Don Lemon does not get a pass from me. I’m not saying what he said was wrong; it was just the wrong forum.

      I also don’t like generalizing. I also don’t like the fact that he would NEVER call to task the White community for their racist behavior. That’s not his job because so many Black folks “don’t care what White folks are doing.” That’s the excuse they use to not see that bad behavior comes in all colors, forms and fashions.

      Sorry for my soapbox moment.

  11. August 15, 2013 - Reply

    Think about it just because a person has money don’t mean he/she is free. Russell Simmons got a master who has him running a test to see just how far they can go in disrespecting, mocking, and destroying our real liberators in the minds of our young people!

  12. August 15, 2013 - Reply

    The only reason why they even removed the video is because he and the two other black people that starred in the video were getting dragged on twitter by nearly everyone. He can take his apology and shove it.

  13. August 15, 2013 - Reply

    One thing that I find amongst Black people the world over is reverence for our ancestors. I cannot understand why so many Black men in the entertainment business in America lack this core string that threads through many of us irrespective of culture and geographical location.

  14. August 15, 2013 - Reply

    Why would ANYONE…ANYONE take Russell seriously? I mean..his stand on just can’t buy into it. We may agree on some things..but at the end of the day..I consider Russ to be out of touch just like most celebs are when it comes to race and REAL LIFE sh*t. Like, how am I going to get an expensive repair done and not where I’ll be staying at the next Hamptons party…

  15. August 15, 2013 - Reply

    Harriet Tubman had a mind of her own and wasn’t afraid to do what was right…so la leçon du jou is”dont mess with her name”
    Now, I’m still waiting for Don lemon’s apology.

  16. August 15, 2013 - Reply

    no wonder he LOVES to date white women & mixed race chicks. the video he made shows me the extent to which he disrespects black women. funny since he was born by a black woman.

  17. August 15, 2013 - Reply

    shouldn’t this go under the #blackpowerisforblackmen theme?

    • August 15, 2013 - Reply

      @mary mary

      No it should go under #blackignoranceisforblackcoons…. A sister (Yvette Carnel ) wrote and directed this piece of garbage and that coon Russell signed off on this BS.

      • August 15, 2013 - Reply

        @The truth

        Wait… WHAT?

        A BLACK WOMAN wrote this???!!!

        *face palm*

        Lawdhamercy… Where is the Drop Squad when you need them?

  18. August 15, 2013 - Reply

    The sad part is that this came after the ‘black male privilege ‘ hashtag. I was hoping that it would have sparked a much needed conversation about the lack of respect for black women within the community…silly me.
    The fact that someone would even think to do this is sad.

  19. August 15, 2013 - Reply

    Glad its finally down but what’s on the internet is on the internet….

  20. August 15, 2013 - Reply

    “Silly me?”

    No Russ, stupid you. Nevermind how insensitive, degrading, and offensive this video is…..How could you be so stupid as to believe this would go over will with black people?? Is your head so grotesquely overgrown and far up your a$$ that you didn’t see the backlash coming a mile away? Ridiculous.

    Oh, and your apology is not accepted. So tired of people making lame ass apologies for shit they meant to do and truly have no remorse for.

  21. August 15, 2013 - Reply

    Apology NOT ACCEPTED you shuck and jiving too old not to have known better old ass fool. Stick to what you do best ripping people off with those fraud Rush Cards and dating women so young they should be playing with Ming Lee and Aoki’s toys. Also to hell with all those who participated in the making of this mess, as mentioned on another board we doubt a satire about lil Anne Frank trying to flirt her and her family from being sent to slaughter by the Nazi’s would fly.

  22. August 15, 2013 - Reply

    Simmons is a PRIME example of this.
    His name would never be in connection w/ anything of this nature if MLK or Malcolm X were the brunt of the supposed joke. Yet Tubman’s legacy is of little to no value to him. If Limbaugh had decided to do this video I bet he would’ve remained silent.
    But I bet if someone had done a video similar to this mocking Yoko Ono, he would protest and be outraged for the sake of his ex-wife who is of Asian decent.

    Who is next in line, Simmons? Who is another black woman you feel the need desecrate for laughs?

    • August 15, 2013 - Reply



  23. August 15, 2013 - Reply

    When it comes to sexism, I am nowhere near perfect, but as much as it hurts to admit it, the black power is for men critique is dead on for a whole lot bullshit pulled by my brothers.

    The idea that Harriet Tubman had no weapon beyond her vagina is beyond stupid.

    • August 15, 2013 - Reply


      But the sad thing is her vagina wouldn’t have technically been a weapon. Sex is only a tool of power/bargain if BOTH people are on semi-equal footing, which back in the day (and even today) black women aren’t. So I don’t know where the idea came from that people think sex was consensual or some torrid secret love affair that black women’s vagina (or black men’s penis) was power they could use to withhold or use on will on their holders when in fact it was rape (maybe to many romanticize slave movies, books, etc. in Hollywood has people diluted). Furthermore, I don’t think slave holders would care if they were “caught” in the act or known that they had sex with their slaves’ base on the offspring they produce was obvious or the sexual delight they took in raping their slaves, it is not like they would have been charged or out casted based on the acts.

  24. August 15, 2013 - Reply

    Silly you? Negro PLEASE!!! Thick skin, thin skin, liberal, conservative, whatever how did you ever come to the conclusion that this was okay? It is not about your personal level of sensitivity or political correctness but simply right or wrong and just or unjust. There is so many things wrongs with this “apology” that it isn’t funny. First off, I guess he means “outwitting” the slave master by using sex and “exposing him” clearly someone doesn’t know their history. It is such a sad day that our historical icons isn’t worthy of the upmost respect of heroes and heroines. Russell Simmons, the actors, and whoever thought and produce this video isn’t different that the slave masters back then as the saying goes “all skin folks aren’t your kin folks….” He would have been blackballed if he did this to someone else history, legends, events, etc. so we need to do the same thing and blackballed him and his industry.

  25. August 15, 2013 - Reply

    The whole story isn’t being told here.Yvette Carnel (a sister/coon) wrote and directed this piece of garbage and then Russell Simmons (a brother/poverty pimp) cosigned this piece of human dodo. Which goes to show you both genders have a lot of coons in them.

  26. August 15, 2013 - Reply

    Oh go stick your Rush Card up where the sun don’t shine, Russ, you un-remorseful idiot. I’m getting sick and tired over these half-assed apologies from celebrities, and it seems that in the Internet age this crap is happening in abundance. I’m, also getting tired of this ‘frat bro comedy’ that is being dressed up as ‘it’s social satire, it’s sending a message, no the joke isn’t on women, it’s on the men’. No, this is unfunny, degrading sexist sh*t. No, you knew EXACTLY what you were doing, you’re just sorry you got caught and called out on your stupidity. Silly you? No, IGNORANT you is more like it for even thinking this would go over with anybody. Plus talk about sadistic.Trivializing rape is downright sickening and then to top it off trivializing an American hero like Harriett Tubman is appalling. Our ancestors and heroes didn’t strive and die for this kind of disrespectful sh*t to be even thought of and produced.

    What gets me is that they don’t think of their daughters, sisters, nieces, or mothers when they do vile sexist mess like this. I bet Simmons wouldn’t want to see his two little girls or his own damn mama in a video like this, but every other Black woman is fair game? Just disgusting.

  27. August 15, 2013 - Reply

    I feel sorry for his daughters.

  28. August 15, 2013 - Reply

    The “star” of this Shanna Malcolm was getting dragged on twitter but, most not shocking is the ones defending her were her “fans” who she calls her McNigglets, and most of them are white. Who saw no issue with this at all what a shock, they sent her messages declaring her McNigglets are behind her. So this dunce cap has no problem shucking and jiving and of course her white stans see nothing wrong with it, she’s their favorite type of black performer, one that has NO SELF RESPECT and wiling to tap dance on the front porch for them. Of course they didn’t find a problem with it because that’s how they view these atrocities in their delusional minds, oh slavery wasn’t that bad, segregation wasn’t that bad, look even the blacks think it was all in good fun see. This heffa main excuse was that it didn’t come off right, the other co-conspirators basically are saying thing got lost in translation and it was a misstep. No Pepsi coming out with Clear Pepsi back in the day was a misstep, this was something that should never have been an idea.

  29. August 15, 2013 - Reply

    I saw it when it first came out, It was horrifyingly disgusting, It goes to show you how so far out of touch with who their history and origins some of these rich black folks are,

  30. August 15, 2013 - Reply

    Why he thought the H this was funny to begin with is beyond me!! Sooooo disrespectful!!

  31. August 15, 2013 - Reply

    Simmons looks like an old black Benjamin Button.

  32. August 15, 2013 - Reply

    I haven’t shaken my head so much in my entire life. Really, Russell Simmons? His halfhearted “Silly me” apology only affirmed that there are times when the enemy is among us. Russell Simmons is toxic.

    From his penchant for young girls, to disrespecting one of the icons to whom he and his ancestors probably owe their emancipation, it is clear that Russell Simmons does not respect Black women, so we, as Black women, should not support his endeavors. No Rush debit card, no Phat Farm, no Rush Digital bulls**t, no nothing. I’m done with him.

  33. August 16, 2013 - Reply

    Russell’s apology isn’t from the heart or since. Said it, it was the funnest stuff he’d seen he was truthful, now on blast he’sorry. Like Paula Seen she was only sorry she got caught. Russell what is funny about rape,slavery,a women being made to endure sexual attack.

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