Russell Simmons has been accused of sexual assault by multiple women (reportedly, TWENTY), and has pretty much exiled himself to Bali. Nevertheless, he’s been getting interviewed on various platforms, and it’s not sitting well with many.
Right now, there is an entire documentary on HBO Max called On The Record that details multiple rape allegations against the Def Jam Records founder, with former A&R exec Drew Dixon as its primary focus. While Simmons still maintains his innocence, over a dozen women have come forward to say Simmons has sexually assaulted them.
But most recently, Simmons appeared on Noreaga’s podcast Drink Champs. The problematic minefield this presented was not lost on Marc Lamont Hill, who issued a “my bad” for participating (Talib Kweli, Mysonne and Bun B were also on the bill), when news of the virtual sit down was announced—noting that he was unaware Simmons would be a guest.
“I stand with, and fully believe, the women who have come forward about Russell’s sexual violence,” read part of Hill’s thread. “I am sorry that I shared space with someone who has caused such harm without accountability. Although I had NO IDEA he’d be on, I am nonetheless deeply sorry that I was a part of it.”
The sad part is the convo before Simmons was tapped on as a “Part 2” to join the fold was great. However, it must be noted that no women participated.
Tidal took down the promo tweet, but this is the Internet.
Simmons had also recently appeared on The Breakfast Club. While Angela Yee did ask directly about the accusations, to say that Simmons was challenged would be a reach.
In both cases, Twitter was not here for Uncle Rush seemingly getting a pass. The fact that Drink Champs is hosted on TIDAL, and thus Jay-Z, also did not go over well. Revolt TV where it also airs (and this Diddy) also caught the smoke. Add to that mix the topic of conversation was the Black Lives Matter movement, and it was a collective, “Nah.”
TIDAL and Revolt TV clearly were paying attention, because they have reportedly pulled the episode per The Wrap.
See more of the backlash below. Tell us where you stand in the comments.
There is *absolutely* an underground movement by powerful Black men in music to help Russell avoid accountability and whitewash his legacy.— Sil Lai Abrams AKA Alecto (@Sil_Lai) June 23, 2020
Note, Sil Lai Abrams is one of Simmons’ accusers.
Russell Simmons literally fled the country after being accused of sexually assaulting Black women. & Was allowed to sit on a podcast to discuss BLM & of course nobody bothered to ask why Black women’s lives don’t matter to him... 😬😬😬— Bella Goth (@HoodSocialism) June 23, 2020
Russell Simmons is really living his best life across the seas doing hot yoga and drinking beet juice to avoid being held accountable. No one wants to talk about this, huh? Oh okay.— ᴅᴏʟʟᴀʀ (@callmedollar) June 23, 2020
Tidal is having a discussion on Black Lives Matter with Russell Simmons as one of the panelists. So just fuck Black women, huh?— tai 🤎 (@bluinmoonlight) June 23, 2020
Not Russell Simmons tuning in from exile in Bali to speak on a BLM panel on Tidal. You can’t make this shit up— mugatu (@tinnkky) June 23, 2020
Shame on @TIDAL and every single person involved in platforming Russell Simmons to speak about Black Lives Matter, a known sexual abuser of Black women (+20) who has fled the country to dodge allegations, court dates, etc— Peppa Pig Hate Account (@JRYussuf) June 23, 2020
There is no reason to have Russell simmons speak on Black Lives Matter when the three Black women that founded the movement are alive and on the ground protesting. Give Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and opal Tometi the platform to speak about their movement. @TIDAL— Jason (Gay Falcon and Winter Soldier stan) (@EscaflowneClown) June 23, 2020
A whole Black Lives Matter Conversation Skyping in accused serial rapist Russell Simmons in from Bali. Doesn’t @TIDAL crow about being a pro-Black platform? Why did anyone think this was okay after the last two weeks?— Comorienne 🇰🇲 (@_ShamGod) June 23, 2020
Just seeing this. Drink Champs should never have had Russell Simmons, a man who fled the country to avoid dealing with his rape accusations, on the show; and I am disappointed that no one at TIDAL/Revolt raised the issue when the episode was handed over to be uploaded. https://t.co/2jVz7kDdjy— Dope boys of the year, drinks is IN the house (@AintNoJigga) June 24, 2020
It doesn’t matter if Marc Lamont Hill knew Russell Simmons was going to be on the TIDAL sponsored podcast. Marc Lamont Hill STILL chose to remain silent while in the presence of Russell Simmons. Marc Lamont Hill said NOTHING to Russell Simmons about the accusations. Complicity.— Bella Goth (@HoodSocialism) June 23, 2020