Russell Simmons Takes Down "Harriet Tubman Sex Tape," Apologizes

Russell Simmons has apologized for a "Harriet Tubman Sex Tape" parody video that was posted to his new All Def Digital YouTube channel.

 (Photo: Charley Gallay/Getty Images for TWC)

Hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons has issued an apology for a video of Harriet Tubman that left many outraged for its portrayal of the historical figure. Since Wednesday, Simmons has been in hot water for a "Harriet Tubman Sex Tape" parody that was posted to his new All Def Digital YouTube channel.
Tubman is known as one of the most important figures in American history for guiding more than 300 slaves to freedom on the Underground Railroad and never losing a passenger. 
Simmons said he has never removed a video of a comedian in the history of Def Comedy Jam, but after he was contacted by the NAACP he took it down.

"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," he said in an apology issued on his website

He added that he felt that the portrayal of Harriet Tubman outwitting the slave master in the video was "politically correct."

"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," he said.
A firestorm started on Twitter as the "sex tape" got around. Many said it was offensive to Tubman's legacy.

"Rape isn’t a joke. Slavery isn’t a joke. Harriet Tubman and her sacrifices for black people are not a joke," writes Demetria Lucas for

Media pundit Marc Lamont Hill commented on the quality of the video and said it wasn't funny. "First of all, the Harriet Tubman video wasn't even funny. On a basic artistic level, it wasn't well done. @UncleRUSHMedia," he wrote on Twitter Thursday.
BET National News - Keep up to date with breaking news stories from around the nation, including headlines from the hip hop and entertainment world. Click here to subscribe to our newsletter. 

Latest News

Subscribe for BET Updates

Provide your email address to receive our newsletter.

By clicking Subscribe, you confirm that you have read and agree to our Terms of Use and acknowledge our Privacy Policy. You also agree to receive marketing communications, updates, special offers (including partner offers) and other information from BET and the Paramount family of companies. You understand that you can unsubscribe at any time.