August 15, 2013

"Russell Simmons apologizes for Harriet Tubman 'sex tape.'"

"The clip features an actress portraying Tubman having sex with her white slave master as someone films it so the abolitionist can bribe her boss.... The 55-year-old Simmons, founder of Def Jam Records, writes Thursday that he 'can now understand why so many people are upset.' He said he removed the video after a call from the NAACP."

Video at the link.

15 comments:

YoungHegelian said...

I think what we're seeing here is not just a question of "racial insensitivity", it's also black class distinctions coming into play. Embarrassing ones, at that.

I think this video is part of the world that used to be called "party records", which would feature sometimes outrageously obscene humor intended for an adult & often inebriated audience. Redd Foxx, Moms Mabley, & Blowfly were the black exemplars, but there were a bevy of white performers who played the steak as opposed to the chitlin' circuit. There was an article on the still-vibrant black adult comedy circuit in the WaPo in the 90's, which I remember but cannot find online.

I heard recordings of some of the white performers as a teenager even in uptight northern Alabama. I was (and am) tough to disgust, but that stuff was often just disgusting.

roadgeek said...

And his apology will be the end of the matter. No lost endorsements. No lost book deals. No lost TV shows. No loss of store promotional tie-ins. And little, if any, attention paid by the media.

Isn't life in America just grand?

Carl said...

Video at the link.

Blogs have sweeps week?

Matthew Sablan said...

I don't see why when people try to be funny via being offensive, they don't stop and think, "Is this actually funny, though also offensive, funny because it is offensive, such as a dead baby joke, funny because it makes the listener uncomfortable because it is offensive, or just offensive?"

Moose said...

I guess there is no excess in the defense of (artistic) liberty?

Darrell said...

I bet it was recorded using the same kind of video cameras they had during the Civil War. Or the film version of same.

Darrell said...

Or maybe blackmailers had sketch artists that could draw really fast. Victims of this blackmail feared that incontrovertible evidence of the misdeeds--it had to be them!!!! There was no other explanation. They paid up pronto!!!

MadisonMan said...

How would reaction be different if a white man had made this exact same video.

I find myself wondering about that.

paminwi said...

Russell Simmons also got called out by Don Lemon on CNN for calling him a slave on Twitter. Lemon also read a letter sent by Simmons to him and point by point responded with his comments. Lemon called this his "no talking points" memo ala Bill O'Reilly.

lemondog said...

Had to "Bing" (try to avoid Google) Russell Simmons. Wiki doesn’t indicate tone-deafness on his part.

No inclination to watch the vid but any apologies from the black actress for the portrayal?

Any apologies from those who watched the vid?

I apologize for acknowledging there is a vid.

mccullough said...

Unfortunately for Simmons, you can't be politically active and a comedian.

gadfly said...

So what is the EnDoubleAyElSeePee's problem? Black folks don't ever have sex with white folks? Black folks aren't allowed to make bad videos? Badly portraying American, er black, history is a criminal offense? And what is this shit about "White N*ggos?

Those of us in Rio Linda really want to know.

Diamondhead said...

Lil Wayne dishonors Emmett Till, Russell Simmons defiles Harriet Tubman...what a nauseating spectacle.

richlb said...

I think the offense comes from showing the beloved Tubman in anything other than reverential light. If it would have been some unnamed black female slave, no one would bat an eye. It would be another unfunny video on the web. But to show Tubman getting her freak on, no matter the reason, is the offense.

At least they didn't put a Tubman mask on and prance around a rodeo.

Big Mike said...

@mccullough, you'venever heard of Lonesome Joe Biden? Of course he doesn't know that he's a commedian, but still ...