Russell Simmons Defends Chaz Bono on Dancing With the Stars

Russell Simmons Defends Chaz Bono on Dancing With the Stars

The media mogul supports Cher’s son, LGBT community and calls show boycotters “dangerous.”

Published September 9, 2011


Russell Simmons has always been an outspoken advocate of various causes and defending his friend Chaz Bono’s right to appear on the upcoming new season of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars is no exception.


Simmons took to his Global Grind website and penned a two-page essay expressing his outrage at those who want to boycott DWTS for featuring Bono, a transgender contestant, and pairing him with a female dance partner.


The media mogul said, "I have made it my business to visit homeless shelters for LGBT teens and have heard their stories firsthand of the struggles they endure to be accepted or to simply survive. Transgender youth often suffer from depression, victimization, harassment, discrimination, sexual assaults, beating, taunting and are even more prone to being victims of homicide," wrote Simmons. "Transsexuals have been known to cut off their breasts and penises just to feel whole. That is what judgment does. That is what fear does. That is what hatred does."


The hip hop impresario also blasted the DWTS boycotters for their organized backlash. Simmons said, "Instead of embracing the courageous act of both Chaz and ABC for showcasing the first transgender celebrity to join the cast of DWTS and using it as a way to send a clear message of tolerance and love to the millions of viewers who watch, intolerant people/groups are instead using ABC's progressive choice to instill fear into parents' minds.... The call for a DWTS boycott is a dangerous step backwards in our quest for human liberation and equality."


Finally the media mogul closed the article with his own personal feelings of inclusion and acceptance of all people. Simmons wrote, "There is no harm, in my opinion, for children to understand that some kids have two moms, some have two dads, some are adopted, some don't have any parents at all and yes, some even have a dad that used to be their mom."


(Photo: Brad Barket/PictureGroup)

Written by Ronke Idowu Reeves


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