Tidal, Revolt TV, Breakfast Club Under Fire Over Russell Simmons Interviews

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Photo Credit: Coco Curranski / CC by 2.0

Jay-Z’s Tidal, Diddy’s Revolt TV, and morning radio show “The Breakfast Club” are under fire for interviewing Def Jam Records co-founder Russell Simmons, who has been accused of sexual assault or rape by at least 13 women.

For background, Russell Simmons stepped down from Def Jam Records (and his positions in several other companies) shortly after the allegations came to light in 2017. The 62-year-old then liquidated his stateside assets and relocated to Bali, Indonesia. The expansive island nation does not have an extradition treaty with the United States.

“The Breakfast Club” uploaded its interview with Russell Simmons to YouTube on June 10th, and the footage was still live at the time of this writing. TIDAL and Revolt TV, however, have pulled the “Drink Champs” podcast episode featuring Simmons.

Sil Lai “Scrappy” Abrams – a self-described “radical black feminist” – appeared to ignite the controversy surrounding the interviews by asking:

“What in the entire hell are Jay Z and @TIDAL doing by giving Russell Simmons a platform to discuss #BlackLivesMatter? Why do people continue to give him a pass? @marclamonthill [a Temple University professor and BET news correspondent; he appeared on “Drink Champs” with Simmons and subsequently spoke with Abrams] did you ask him about the multiple rape allegations against him???”

The 49-year-old journalist elaborated on her position in a series of follow-up messages, stating in one of the tweets:

“Jay Z and Puff won’t stand up for Russell via public statements, but they are still rape apologists. By quietly giving him an unchallenged voice on their media platforms, they make a huge statement: Black survivors of sexual violence are an irrelevant casualty of hip hop.”

“The Breakfast Club” interviewers cut to the chase when speaking with Simmons, asking at the dialogue’s start: “First of all, where are you, Russ?”

Seated cross-legged before an intricate piece of artwork, Simmons responded, “Right now, I’m in my home in Bali. I got stuck here. You know, I live between LA and Bali, and I was in New York in January, and I got on a plane and Ming [his 20-year-old daughter, Ming Simmons] was supposed to come.

“And once I got here, you know, they closed the borders [due to the COVID-19 pandemic] and I got stuck, which is fine by me. So, I’m still here. I haven’t been back [to the United States] since the middle of January.”

When asked why he resided in Bali, Simmons cited his business ventures and his quest for personal growth, making no mention of the sexual assault allegations or the fact that he moved to Indonesia back in 2018.

The conversation ultimately returned to the allegations, which Simmons denied: “I can tell you that I don’t feel that I victimized them [his accusers]. … I took nine separate three-hour lie detector tests.”

6 Responses

  1. restless94110

    Yeah, let’s ignore and diss one of the pioneers of hip hop because of some hysterical nonsense from women who decided 20 years later that some people did some things. You just can’t fix stupid.

    • Ignacio

      2 separate issues. Yes, he was a hip hop pioneer. Yes, he abused women. Again, 2 different issues.

      From this comment, and looking at your previous comments, your last sentence is true.

      • Rabbi Shlomo Bin Rubenstein

        20 years… a lot of perceptions and things change in 20 years. What was accepted then, isn’t accepted now. 20 years ago nobody was getting in trouble for jokey calling someone a Fag but today you can’t say that word. Point is, context changes over time. I don’t think Russel is an angel but I’m sure there are plenty of opportunistic women coming after him

        • Ignacio

          I would agree – he’s done some wrong things, but the opportunistic comment is valid.

  2. Malcolm Flex

    Where’s this energy for Tekashi who molested a 13 year old Black girl?

    Either keep the same energy or shut the f**k up.

    • Justin

      Same idiotic comment from the same person, different screen name. You’re a fool.