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4/25/2006. The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding Spring Benefit - New York

Source: VLASIC SLAVEN / Getty

Russell Simmons is a creep. In the last couple of weeks he’s been in the news for the HBO documentary about his long history of (allegedly) sexually assaulting multiple women. At the same time, he’s been featured on The Breakfast Club and now on Tidal’s Drink Champs featuring a discussion about Black Lives Matter.

The panel also featured Talib Kweli, Mysonne and Marc Lamont Hill. There were a lot of people outraged over the fact that Simmons was on with all these men who didn’t say anything. How could they all agree to be on a panel with him?

Well, that’s not the whole story. Hill took to Twitter to explain what really happened:

“I also did not know Russell Simmons would be a part of this. I was surprised when he joined.”

“A few weeks ago, I appeared on Drink Champs. I was asked to join a discussion with Bun B, Talib Kweli, and Mysonne. About 2.5 hours into the show, Russell Simmons appeared. I had NO IDEA he was scheduled. I would NEVER have appeared if I had known.

During Russell’s 20ish minutes on the show, I was texting the producers telling them that I was not comfortable with his presence and asking to wrap. After the show, I expressed my frustration with what happened. I also asked them not to air Russell’s portions.

When the show was aired, Russell was not on it. I assumed that my request was honored. Today, I see a Part 2 was posted with his commentary included. I am beyond disappointed that this is the case.

I stand with, and fully believe, the women who have come forward about Russell’s sexual violence. 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.”

NORE followed up with the confirmation:

“yesssir u are correct we thought Russ wouldn’t come on !so when he did at the end it wasn’t brought up prior and I thought it was edited!!!

I wanna make clear I didn’t tell u bout the last guest period cause we didn’t expect to have him!!! U didnt know bout it and once u did u made it clear u was uncomfortable !!!

so I apologize for me not being fully aware of what was going on!!! I just wanted to put black men together who are powerful for a powerful convo !!! Moving forward I will be more aware of guests and who and how they are presented !!!”

Still this was inexcusable and it’s past time to banish Simmons into the sun. There’s no space for him in the culture and it’s time we acted like it.

Hit the flip to see more outrage and reasoning behind Simmon’s need to be put aside.

“Tidal giving a platform to Russell Simmons to speak about BLM in the wake of several women speaking out about his decades of sexual assault is exactly why (Black) capitalism, celebrity and the way both enforce patriarchy and uphold the sexual abuse of BW must all be abolished.”

“BESIDES Russell Simmons being a damn rapist he also SCREWED over a lot of poor people especially poor, Black people with his RushCard scam. And that’s who yall want to talk about BLM?! FUCK YALL”

“Not Russell Simmons tuning in from exile in Bali to speak on a BLM panel on Tidal. You can’t make this s*** up”

“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…”

“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”

“NOBODY should be praising or giving Russell Simmons a platform to speak about anything. When s*** hit the fan about those allegations he left America. That should tell you everything.”

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“Jay Z, Diddy, & 50 have too much intel & resources to allow someone like Russell Simmons on their platforms. Either they aren’t as smart or they don’t care. And both reasons deserve slander.”

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