Russell Simmons Issues Apology for Harriet Tubman Sex Tape Parody
Russell Simmons is apologizing for a controversial parody video on his YouTube channel, which depicted U.S. abolitionist Harriet Tubman having sex with her white slave master with the intent of filming the act and blackmailing him.
The video, posted to Simmons' YouTube channel on Wednesday, has since been removed, with the media mogul issuing a statement of apology.
"I'm a very liberal person with thick skin," he writes. "My first impression of the Harriet Tubman piece was that it was about what one of the actors said in the video, that 162 years later, there's still tremendous injustice. And with Harriet Tubman outwitting the slave master? I thought it was politically correct. Silly me."
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Simmons reveals that a phone call from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was what prompted him to remove the clip.
"I can now understand why so many people are upset," he says. "I would never condone violence against women in any form, and for all of those I offended, I am sincerely sorry."
Tubman is remembered for helping hundreds flee from slavery through a series of safe houses in the 1800s, and was a well-known "conductor" on the Underground Railroad network. Tubman was also a spy for the Union army during the American Civil War.
Read Simmons' full statement via GlobalGrind.com.