Russell Simmons’ Harriet Tubman Sextape Apology Statement: Sounds like Martin’s first proposal to Gina…slathered in wack sauce

Russell Simmons’ Harriet Tubman Sextape Apology Statement: Sounds like Martin’s first proposal to Gina…slathered in wack sauce

Thank you Crystal Fleming for creating the petition requesting the removal of the “Harriet Tubman Sextape” skit and an apology from Russell Simmons whose company All Def Digital (ADD) created and distributed it. I was up early into the morning re-posting updates on the petition and writing to All Def Digital’s director of communications. It saddened me to wake up and see that in the few short hours I was asleep, the petition only reached 708 signatures. But, all wasn’t lost. I also woke up to news that “Uncle Rush” posted his official statement to his Global Grind website. And then I read the title of his statement:

I Get It And I Respect It…The Harriet Tubman Video Has Been Removed.

Seriously, is THIS what we were waiting for? I think we need an apology for the apology. It comes off so condescending. It reminded me immediately of one of my all-time favorite sitcoms, Martin, and the classic episode when the character Martin (Martin Lawrence) proposes to Gina (Tisha Campbell-Martin) for the first time.

"OK, fine Gina, I will marry you. Damn, I mean, are you happy now?"

That’s not ANY woman’s dream proposal and of course, Gina didn’t go for it. I can’t go for Russell’s “are you happy now” official statement either. No need to go to Global Grind, here is what he had to say:


I Get It And I Respect It…The Harriet Tubman Video Has Been Removed.

Aug 15, 2013 By Russell Simmons

In the whole history of Def Comedy Jam, I’ve never taken down a controversial comedian. 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.

I’m a very liberal person with thick skin and it’s hard to offend me. 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 Harriet Tubman outwitting the slave master, I thought it was politically correct. Silly me. I guess I’m older now and instead of fighting for one piece of content, I can 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.
~Russell Simmons


So Russell, are you low-key saying the people who got upset over this and didn’t see Harriet Tubman “outwitting the slave master” as empowering and “politically correct” are too sensitive? Our skin isn’t thick enough and we’re perhaps easily offended? I think I"m pretty liberal, too, and I love a good paroady, but here is my e-mail explaining why I just couldn't laugh at this:

There are no silent apologies.

I have not watched the Harriet Tubman Sextape video, but I don’t need to watch it to know how un-funny that could possibly be. How dare anyone have the audacity to parody Harriet Tubman and the legacy of black, slave women?! Positive depictions of black women in popular culture are so hard to come by these days (thanks “reality” TV!); we stand on the shoulders of our historical leaders, like Harriet Tubman, Ida B. Wells, Assata Shakur, to inspire us…remind us that we were born to be better than what we’re made to believe.  I am tired of black women being mocked and dehumanized and I can’t laugh about it.  I can’t laugh that someone – multiple someones—thought producing this video was a great, funny idea. Are Youtube hits more important than the effects of hitting the self-esteem of black women? Is it really that important???

Thank you for removing the video, but we need to hear from Russell…Uncle Rush. This would not go by in silence if my REAL uncle was on watch.

Thank you, God bless and good night,

Sandria  M. Washington, Chicago, IL

August 15, 2013

At the very least, I am thankful the video was removed and I am thankful Russell Simmons officially addressed it. I’ve just never been a person that is happy with settling for the very least. Black women deserve more.


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    Great words as always from my great friend!!! loved this read! He was a complete arrogant a&* for this one! BS apology too!

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