Russell Simmons apologizes for 'Harriet Tubman Sex Tape'
August 15th, 2013
11:31 AM ET

Russell Simmons apologizes for 'Harriet Tubman Sex Tape'

Russell Simmons found success with his raunchy Def Comedy Jam series, but he's now apologizing for some attempted humor gone awry.

The entrepreneur and one of the titans of hip hop removed the "Harriet Tubman Sex Tape" from his All Def Digital YouTube channel after some outcry over the portrayal of the abolitionist having sex with her owner in exchange for being able to run the Underground Railroad.

Simmons released a statement saying "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," he said in the statement which was posted on his GlobalGrind website. "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."

iReporter: "We are destroying our own legacy"

The video may have been removed from Simmons site, but nothing ever totally disappears on the Internet so check it out here:

Filed under: Celebrities

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soundoff (75 Responses)
  1. Hey Bimbo

    don't make fun of fat black people

    September 8, 2013 at 7:32 am | Report abuse |
  2. Run a check on bimbo

    see if its her......

    September 8, 2013 at 7:31 am | Report abuse |
  3. ddog12345

    Why is it ok for black people to scream rasist at every corner for everything, but white people can't when it is OBVIOUSLY rasist for whites? Easy answer. For some reason black people still think we owe them for something that happened a long time ago. I'm sorry, but I never owned a slave. I DON'T OWE YOU. Get over it already. Maybe they should have just left you back in Africa since that's all you can ever talk about. Whites don't have freedom of speech and we never will.

    September 5, 2013 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      Hey don't owe me anything and don't want anything from you and there's nothing you have that I want unless its a contract to provide legal services where I can bill out 10 of my Jr. lawyers at $350 / hour...and yeah, you're the reason the word "racist" exists. Lastly, have never been to Africa but I would love to go and visit one day.

      September 9, 2013 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Lesbian

    Like she thinks we don't know....

    September 1, 2013 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Julie Hanks

    I'm disgusted and shocked! Inaccurate, inflammatory,and offensively denigrating.

    September 1, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Geraldine Encarnacion

    The Blood of that Brave Great Lady flows through the veins of my children; my family. I'm sure Russell Simmons has family members he can make films of. Does Fame and Money bred ignorance ? Thick Skin ?? You have no skin no soul ! We/Me suffered greatly for the "RIGHTS" you have now. You are in some serious need of "TIMEOUT !"

    September 1, 2013 at 8:00 am | Report abuse |
  7. Dr E

    I used to THINK he was an idiot, now I KNOW he is one. I don't care how much money he has, he's a fool.

    August 31, 2013 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
  8. Joanna

    Fantastic show all the best.

    August 28, 2013 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  9. Win50

    very thick skinned...daz wall street training

    August 28, 2013 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
  10. What U said?

    Liberals have thick skin? LOL Surely you jest.

    August 28, 2013 at 10:08 am | Report abuse |
  11. JC

    He shouldn't have to apologize or take it down. The NAACP needs racism to exist in order for them to stay relevant. Being able to crack jokes about sensitive topics suggests a sense of healing and less sensitivity. God forbid the NAACP allow blacks to move past slavery. 300 years from now the NAACP will still be hitting up the government for a third round of reparations.

    August 22, 2013 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. The Tick

    This is really hypocritical for Russel Simmon...granted I am not black my self (I'm actually Indian) why the F would he do that a person with half a mind would not take such a great and important historical figure and reduce her down to comedic fodder. If any other nationality other than black were to do such a thing he would be one of the first people in line condemning such an action. Russel if you are a real man and a represent of not only the hip-hop community but black community as well you should NEVER raise your voice in displeasure to what anyone says...(Don Lemon)

    August 17, 2013 at 11:22 am | Report abuse |
  13. Kim Dean

    This was god-awful, unfunny, class-less, stupid and pure trash. The writers, actors and producers should be whipped if this is the best they could come up with.

    August 16, 2013 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Sokman

      You mean like tied to a post and whipped, as they were in the old days? I'm all for that - hand me a whip!

      August 16, 2013 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Pants on the Ground

      I fking HATE Russell Crowe.

      August 16, 2013 at 2:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. sunnydmtv

    Another lame video done in poor taste. Key & Peele could have (and have) done better.
    However, freedom of speech gives you the right to be lame and insensitive. If you're proud of the work you've done, why take it down? People will always be offended by something.

    August 16, 2013 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Natrldiver

      You are correct however, offend one liberal and the grab the NAACP, ACLU, lawyers and politicians to reign down upon you. They are the biggest hypocrites around.

      August 16, 2013 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      @natridiver: a conservative calling ANYONE else a hypocrite is the single most laughably hypocritical thing in the world.

      August 19, 2013 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
  15. wcbhwk

    Russell Simmons is too f**ing funny. Great spoof video!The NAACP needs to get over itself already.

    August 16, 2013 at 8:45 am | Report abuse |
  16. PQ squirrel

    Gratefully it was a black producer who made this spoof. Had he been caucasion Oprah would be talking about it on TV, the NAACP would be demanding Holder arrest him, Al Sharpton would be leading marches ... Where's the race grievance industry now? See you at The Butler, soon opening at theaters near you!

    August 16, 2013 at 7:02 am | Report abuse |
    • M.A.P.

      Yeah but that argument doesnt make much sense. Caucasians are not allowed to use the N word but African Americans can. It's the way rac-ism works! It's ok to make fun of if you ARE a member of that group, like I'm gay so I'm allowed to call people f.a.g.s. See south park episode about the word sh!t and you'll get the message.

      August 16, 2013 at 8:48 am | Report abuse |
  17. DRT Goodman

    Russell has spent so much time as Trump's lawn jockey, the sun has caused his brain to seizure!

    August 16, 2013 at 2:22 am | Report abuse |
    • Joe S

      "I’m a very liberal person with thick skin and it’s hard to offend me,"
      Really ... is that possible ?

      August 16, 2013 at 3:06 am | Report abuse |
  18. blaize

    When you from where im from you gotta get it how you live

    August 15, 2013 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  19. blaize

    When you from where im from you gotta get how you live

    August 15, 2013 at 9:13 pm | Report abuse |
  20. s.b.

    As we were about to take 2 steps forward he just put us behind 20 steps backwards......

    August 15, 2013 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Brother Attorney from (California)

    Russell, I thought you were more intelligent than ignorant. I can't believe that you would disgrace one of our African- American pioneer's (Harriet Tubman) to a degree of shame and embarrassment. Shame on you for trying to re-enact a horrible scene from the slave-trade era. I can't believe that one of our Hip-Hop for-father's would stoop to the lowest level of humanity, to try and bring back disturbing scene's of our horrific past, back to the lime-light is totally downright un-ethical. In conclusion, Russell you absolutely did the wrong thing by degrading our beautiful black queen's (sister's)
    for all their accomplishment's and struggles to get where they are today.

    August 15, 2013 at 7:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • ryan langdon

      Hey brother, I feel your pain. This is so absurd. You call Jesse Jackson and I will call Al Sharpton, then we can sit on the floor together Indian style and cry together.

      August 18, 2013 at 1:32 am | Report abuse |
  22. BIG SHIZ

    Momma! Momma, is that you? Nooooooooo! Momma, you didn't need to. I could have gotten you the money somehow...

    August 15, 2013 at 7:22 pm | Report abuse |
  23. crystal oneal

    So let's make a video about holocaust victims screwing for food, none of this is funny

    August 15, 2013 at 6:56 pm | Report abuse |
  24. She

    I love Jean Simmons old movies

    August 15, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Report abuse |
  25. r p

    IIts comedy, people need to relax. Simmons shouldnt have given in and taken it down. Its Satire.

    August 15, 2013 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pooh

      So was a mexican shooting a black when your the white guy being blamed

      August 15, 2013 at 7:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • ko

      it may be satire but it reveals something much more sinister within the culture. where is the hate crime committee on this one?

      August 16, 2013 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
  26. Plain Ignorant

    This was in extremely poor taste. Is there anything sacred these days? I doubt our ancestors that escaped slavery, would find humor in this. Russell I'm disappointed

    August 15, 2013 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Charles P

      C'mon, bro. Harriet is funny. That's better than Chris Rock or Kevin Hart. They rude. I didn't see you taking time to compalin about them. Lighten up. Encourage Russell. Don't try guilting him.

      August 15, 2013 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  27. Dick Guzinyia

    Hysterical....a 'brood fussing a black icon!
    Where are Jesse and Al Nursing Sharpton??

    August 15, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dick Guzinyia

      That's a " Groid dissing" a groid icon.

      August 15, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • We get it, Dickie...

      You're just another ignorant redneck r a c i s t like Sokman, making another 'clever' remark about black people. Inbreeding has really made you the master race, hasn't it, Dickman?

      August 15, 2013 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Forest Brown

    Poor Russell, No Home Cookin" that's what's ailing this Brother, my Queen of 51 years if she had an inkling that this was on my mind I would have been Chewed,and Skewed"!! No way a True Stomp Down Sistah stands by and allows this to go down!!!

    August 15, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
  29. GRACIE


    August 15, 2013 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  30. Roquefort Dressing

    I always enjoyed Mr. Simmons' occasional appearences on the Late Night With David Letterman show, although Mr. Letterman could get downright mean to poor Russell. I think if he didn't always wear a tanktop and those loose legged running shorts, people would be less apt to poke fun at him.

    August 15, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse |
  31. Eddie Munster

    Vote for me in 2016!

    August 15, 2013 at 2:32 pm | Report abuse |
  32. Leslie

    LMAO! This video is great. Everyone needs to take themselves a little less seriously. Political correctness and hypersensitivity have taken all the humor out of American discourse. Simmons has nothing to apologize. On the contray, thanks much for a good laugh!

    August 15, 2013 at 2:17 pm | Report abuse |
  33. Teri

    "Silly me" my azz. He better hope her descendents have a good sense of humor.

    August 15, 2013 at 2:07 pm | Report abuse |
  34. LOL

    Manny- You're thinking of RICHARD Simmons, not Russell...bless your heart.

    August 15, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  35. t.k. wells

    Just when I thought people couldnt get any more tasteless. This,simply put, offends the hell out of me. Harriet Tubman was my childhood hero and I find this anything but funny!!!! If I ever meet Russell Simmons in person, I owe him a butt whipping!

    August 15, 2013 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sharon the history professor

      The myth of Harriet Tubman was the basis for your idolation. You don't know that she didn't utilize her womanly wiles to get her way, as many women are apt to do *wink, wink* I got more bad news: 0bama's dad was a communist, and his grandfather was a mau mau terrorist. Mau maus had an induction ritual involving bestiality with goats. Google it.

      August 15, 2013 at 1:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • ^ Mad Tinfoil Hatter ^

      queue "Twilight Zone" music here.

      August 15, 2013 at 2:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Knowitall

      Sharon, if you really are a professor of history as you claim, then you are a sad testament to our educational system today. Surely a person who has put forth the necessary adademic work to obtain a masters or even a phd in history would know that you can't believe everything you read on the internet. Unless, of course, you're one of those instructors at a right-wing, religious 'college' who teaches that the Earth is 6000 years old, and that evolution is false. If that's the case, then your statement makes perfect sense in that context.

      August 15, 2013 at 2:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chantal Peters


      August 15, 2013 at 2:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rosie the Riveter


      August 15, 2013 at 2:42 pm | Report abuse |
  36. Name*sarah

    Liberals are all for free speech and free choice until you disagree with them.

    August 15, 2013 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Name*hannah

      Conservatives are all for freedom and liberty until you elect one of them.

      August 15, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Danny Vinson

      I know of no liberals complaining on this. Conservatives wish they would.Conservatives are for freedom until it disagrees with them or reduces a corporations profits.

      August 15, 2013 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  37. TriumphTheInsultComicDog

    He should be apologizing for producing so many s**tty rap artists.

    August 15, 2013 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
  38. BigGameJames

    @Ellen stop buying boobs and ass as well as paying for tans then we'll talk.

    August 15, 2013 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  39. Laquanda

    Wow. That Harriet was a freak. She took charge of her sechshuality and c*ckholded her significant other. That's the beauty of running an underground railroad: Lots of fellows streaming through for a freak to pick and choose. When the video was frozen in still frame, I thought she looked fat, but by the end I found myself thinking, "That looks like fun..."

    August 15, 2013 at 12:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • *chuckle*

      Laquanda = typical overweight middle-aged white neo con racist FauxNews watching smartazz who voted for NitWit Romney / Eddie Munster in 2012 and Sen. Gimp Hand / Caribou Barbie Retard in 2008.

      August 15, 2013 at 12:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peace ☮


      August 15, 2013 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • So Ellen

      You sound just like Sukkman. Are you the Mrs, or did you turn into a girl on us, Sukkman? lmao

      August 15, 2013 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • @ So Ellen

      The commenter who goes by Ellen has always been a man; a conservative, racist white man hiding behind his anonymity to further spew his hatred. He's most likely the notoriious racist commenter Sokman, among others.

      August 15, 2013 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • @@So Ellen

      I know, my brother. That's what name I call Sokman (Sukkman). He is a easy one to spot. Why do these righties have their panties in such a bunch? Nothing makes them happy, except a good clan meeting.

      August 15, 2013 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  40. Timmy

    Mommy and I work out to a VHS tape of Russell Simmons "Sweatin' to the Oldies" every morning!

    August 15, 2013 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Manny

      Controversy aside, any man who can get old people off their fat azzes and excercising again is alright in my book. Go Russell Simmons!

      August 15, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • dlkenrick

      I'm pretty sure you're thinking of Gene Simmons.

      August 15, 2013 at 1:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • Wally B.

      I wish Russell Simmons would play Webster again on a reunion show.

      August 15, 2013 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |

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