Considering the wave of controversy round Russell Simmons’ look on “The Breakfast Club” radio present earlier this month, many individuals have been stunned that the entrepreneur — who has been accused of sexual assault or misconduct by at the very least 20 girls — was featured on the podcast and video collection “Drink Champs,” which airs on Tidal and Revolt TV.
Following a backlash from many individuals on-line, together with a few of these accusers — notably Sil Lai Abrams, who has accused Simmons of sexually assaulting her in 1994 and is featured within the current HBO documentary, “On the Record,” on the accusations in opposition to Simmons — Tidal and Revolt TV have pulled the episode from their platforms, and most social-media posts selling it appear to have been deleted.
“What in the entire hell are Jay-Z and Tidal doing by giving Russell Simmons a platform to discuss #BlackLivesMatter?” she tweeted. “Why do people continue to give him a pass?”
“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,” Abrams continued. “The most powerful Black men in the industry are rallying to the defense of Russell Simmons. They are actively taking a stance AGAINST Black women.”
Earlier this month, she and many others slammed “The Breakfast Club” radio present for that includes Simmons in an episode and permitting him to soft-pedal the accusations in opposition to him. She and others appeared in a follow-up episode with host Angela Yee.
Reps for Revolt TV and Tidal didn’t instantly reply to Variety’s requests for remark, nonetheless, the 2 firms don’t program “Drink Champs,” which launched in 2015 and primarily act as distributors for the completed packages (the present inked a cope with Revolt late in 2016 and with Tidal final 12 months). While it’s probably that staffers at Revolt and Tidal may have noticed Simmons’ identify on the incoming present and flagged it earlier than earlier than it aired, it appears not possible that Jay-Z or Diddy could be concerned in these choices.
On Tuesday, “Drink Champs” co-host N.O.R.E. apologized for the episode, saying he hadn’t been “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,” N.O.R.E. wrote in response to a Tweet from Temple University professor and BET News host Marc Lamont Hill, who had additionally appeared on the present and stated he hadn’t been knowledgeable that Simmons could be as nicely.
Abrams excoriated Hill in one in every of her Tweets. “@marclamonthill did you ask him about the multiple rape allegations against him???”
Hill quickly responded, “I stand with, and fully believe, the women who have come forward about Russell’s sexual violence,” he wrote. “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.”