One day after Russell Simmons launched his All Def Digital channel on YouTube, he issued an apology after a firestorm of criticism over a video portraying Harriet Tubman having sex with her master to blackmail him as part of a plot to escape.
“In the whole history of Def Comedy Jam, I’ve never taken down a controversial comedian,” Simmons said in a statement Thursday. “When my buddies from the NAACP called and asked me to take down the Harriet Tubman video from the All Def Digital YouTube channel and apologize, I agreed.”
Continued Simmons, “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. And with Harriet Tubman outwitting the slave master? I thought it was politically correct. Silly me. 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.”
Simmons’ Rush Digital Media is working with DreamWorks Animation’s AwesomenessTV to launch All Def Digital, which includes urban music, comedy sketches and spoken-word programming
While All Def Digital pulled the Tubman video from its account, another user has reposted the video here: