HBO Removes Russell Simmons’ Name From ‘All Def Comedy’

Russell Simmons
Michael Buckner/Variety/REX/Shutterstock

HBO is moving forward with stand-up series “All Def Comedy,” but without Russell Simmons.

The premium service confirmed Thursday that it would remove Simmons’ name from the show  going forward. Simmons on Thursday stepped down from his business properties amid sexual assault allegations.

“HBO will be airing All Def Comedy as planned,” an HBO spokesperson said. “However, Russell Simmons will not appear in the new series and we will be removing his name from the show moving forward.  The series is a platform for promising and upcoming comedians and we do not want to deprive them of an opportunity to showcase their talents to a national audience.  We have no other projects with Russell Simmons.”

Set to premiere Dec. 1, “All Def Comedy” received an order for six half-hour episodes from HBO earlier this year. Hosted by Tony Rock, the series is produced by Simmons’ All Def Digital.

Simmons’ “Def Comedy Jam” ran on HBO from 1992 to 1997, and returned to the premium service briefly in 2006. Simmons stepped down from his companies on Thursday after being accused of sexual assault by writer Jenny Lumet. In a guest column in the Hollywood Reporter, Lumet accused the Def Jam co-founder of forcing her to have sex in 1991. In a statement, Simmons said he had a different recollection of their encounter, but said Lumet’s “feelings of fear and intimidation are real.” He apologized to Lumet, who is the daughter of director Sidney Lumet and the screenwriter behind “Rachel Getting Married.”