Russell Simmons' "Harriet Tubman Sex Tape" Pulled. Yeah.
Russell Simmons pulled what some are dubbing a "Harriet Tubman Sex Tape" Thursday. Now there's a lede I never thought I'd have to type.
Russell Simmons released the video on his new All Def Digital Youtube Channel on Twitter this week, calling it the "funniest thing I've ever seen."
Just to clarify, we are indeed talking about the Harriet Tubman who was the 19th-century abolitionist, and risked her life to help deliver over 300 slaves to freedom in the North.
In the video, Tubman is depicted as filming a secret sex tape to use against her master as blackmail...in order to start the Underground Railroad. Yes, that's the premise of this totally obtuse parody video. Tubman's character also implies that she's been raped by her master continuously in the past, a plight that was all too real for the women in this historical context to be taken lightly.
After receiving a call from his "buddies from the NAACP" Russell Simmons pulled the video from his channel and published this apology on the Global Grind website. "I thought it was politically correct. Silly me," he wrote, adding that he would "never condone violence against women in any form."
At best, this is a a joke that seriously missed the mark. At worst, it's a deeply offensive suggestion that the only way a woman like Tubman could have achieved heroic deeds was through some kind of sexual ploy.
We're not going to embed the video here, but if you want to see and judge for yourself, here's a link.