Russell Simmons says black women helped him understand why his recently published (then unpublished) parody video, “Harriet Tubman Sex Tape,” was so offensive.
The hip-hop business mogul sat down for an interview with Cynthia LuCiette of ‘BRKDWN,’ and he said the vision for the skit — posted on his new All Def Digital YouTube Network — did not reflect the final product.
“When I got a call and found out that black women were so disturbed by it, it broke my heart,” Simmons said of the comedy skit which he pegged “the funniest video ever.”
“I’m sure I’m going to piss off everybody again tomorrow. I’ve got s–t that’s coming, that’s going to piss people off. Not tomorrow as in the next day tomorrow, but in the future it’ll be s–t that pisses people off, but it’s not likely it’ll break my heart and make me react as quickly,” he explained. “This is about black women. They can push me around a little quicker than the rest of the entire world. And they didn’t push me around. They educated me on how hurtful it was because I never considered rape. I just saw her seduce, take advantage of, and turn the tables on the slave master. That’s what I saw. It’s really what I saw.”
He went on to say that the vision for the skit was traditional comedy.
“The oppressed taking advantage of the oppressor. That is what I saw. It could have been executed better but that is what I saw. Although in the video she seduces the slave master, it implies the previous race. I just saw her taking advantage of the slave master and I just let it go,” he said. “In 30 years, I have never once pulled down a piece of content. Thirty years. I’ve always had controversy. This is different because there’s a line which most poems don’t cross and most records don’t cross.”
Celebs like Dream Hampton, John Legend and Marc Lamont Hill have all publicly expressed their dislike for the Harriet Tubman parody. Spike Lee also had a few words to say about the content on Twitter, but Simmons said the famed filmmaker should focus his energy on making “a decent movie.”
“It’s what he does. It’s okay. Listen, I have five charities. Maybe he can work for the Foundation For Ethnic Understanding, or he can work for the Diamond Empowerment Fund and build schools in Africa, or maybe he can work for the Hip Hop Summit Action Network and campaign against the drug lords, or maybe he can sleep in the park with me and Occupy one day. Or maybe he can use his energy and make a decent movie. But he had a lot of energy that he put into this,” he said. “Too much energy.”
Check out the video interview below and tell us your thoughts in the comment section.
Check Out This Gallery