UPDATE (08/15/13 13:24 PT): And it’s gone. Russell Simmons has agreed to pull the Harriet Tubman Sex Tape from his All Def Digital YouTube channel. Said Simmons in a statement: “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.”
Damn, well, we’ll see if this becomes some of the “lost YouTube footage” now only found in internet lore.
Yesterday we reported on the formation of rap impresario Russell Simmons’ digital video hub All Def Digital (ADD), a collaboration with Awesomeness TV’s CEO Brian Robbin. Today, we get to report on how Simmons and Robbin have some ‘splainin’ to do.
One of their first uploaded videos, “ADD History: Harriet Tubman Sex Tape” starring Shanna Malcolm, Destorm and Jason Horton, has boiled into a brouhaha of uncomfortable proportions. Several critics have already slammed the video, in which Harriet Tubman lays the foundation for the Underground Railroad by blackmailing her white master with a sex tape of the two of them fornicating up a storm (a Destorm?).
Already a petition has appeared on Change.org calling for the removal of the video and for Simmons to issue an apology, and Shanna has taken to her Twitter account to apparently respond to every critic and commenter who tweets at her (and there are a lot of them).
The outcome of the video is yet to be determined — obviously it will live on in perpetuity on the internet, but what actions Simmons and Robbin will take has yet to be determined. My guess is that there is some heavy discussions going on as we speak. The real question is how this will affect the racial discussion heretoforward. Long has the use of the “n-word” (for every race) been a controversial subject amongst the African American community, but now maybe this controversy indicates a shift in what people are willing to accept as “humor.” Are there subjects that are just too taboo to joke about? I don’t think so, but then, only time will tell what the majority thinks.