Amid Harriet Tubman Backlash, Russell Simmons Disses Spike Lee

Photo Credit: BRKDWN/YouTube
Photo Credit: BRKDWN/YouTube

By: Amanda Anderson-Niles

Russell Simmons is feeling the heat these days as the business man and Hip Hop mogul recently came under fire for cosigning and producing a video of a parody about Harriet Tubman making a sex tape. The outrage over the video was an immediate one and most people are still puzzled as to why someone as high-profile as Russell Simmons would think it was a good idea to produce such a video and then proudly post it to his YouTube Channel after hopping on Twitter to proclaim it as the funniest thing he’s ever seen. Although Russell did eventually apologize to those offended and made peace with Tubman’s family with the promise to now produce a biopic on her life, there are still many people not willing to accept his apology. Some are even calling for the boycott of Simmons and all of the businesses he is associated with. One person who was very vocal on the video and his disgust with Simmons’ actions is the movie maker Spike Lee. After the video went viral, Lee tweeted:

Just Saw Russell Simmons Produced Skit “HARRIET TUBMAN SEXTAPE.I Ask Why Do We Desecrate Our Ancestors?Why Do We Hate Ourselves?QUESTION???


In a recent interview with Cynthia LuCiette of BRKDWN, Simmons dissed the movie producer and ran down the number of non-profit organizations he runs:

“It’s what he does. It’s okay. Listen, I have five charities. Maybe he can work for the Foundation For Ethnic Understanding, or he can work for the Diamond Empowerment Fund and build schools in Africa, or maybe he can work for the Hip Hop Summit Action Network and campaign against the drug lords, or maybe he can sleep in the park with me and Occupy one day. Or maybe he can use his energy and make a decent movie. But he had a lot of energy that he put into this. Too much energy.”


Check out the interview below:


  1. It’s hilarious that Russ thinks he can shade Spike Lee when Spike actually has talent. Russell is nothing more than a conman.

  2. If he does that much work in the black community, than he really has absolutely no excuse as to why he thought that video would be okay.

  3. Um Spike Lee has made some amazing films. By the looks of that video Russell made, we won’t ever be able to say same thing about him.

  4. Don’t try to hide behind charity work or use it to prove you help the black community. What you did was wrong. People are going to be offended by it. Rather than try to insult those people just accept the criticism and move on. Russell Simmons is wrong, there’s no way around it.

  5. Why do celebrities build schools in Africa, but no one is trying to fix the broken school districts in America? A lot of them are losing their accreditations, but it seems no one cares

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