TIDAL Faces Backlash For Including Russell Simmons On Black Lives Matter Panel

Russell Simmons

TIDAL Faces Backlash For Including Russell Simmons On Black Lives Matter Panel

Tidal, the music streaming company owned by Roc Nation mogul Jay-Z, is facing some backlash on social media after they promoted an episode of the podcast Drink Champs. The podcast which is hosted by N.O.R.E and DJ EFN, recently had an episode with special guests such as Marc Lamont Hill, Talib Kweli, Mysonne, Bun B, and Russell Simmons, to discuss the Black Lives Matter movement.

Some social media users were angry with Tidal because of the fact that they included Russell Simmons in the panel, despite the music mogul having multiple sexual assault accusations against him. Russell Simmons is currently being accused of sexual assault by Sil Lai Abrams, Drew Dixon, Sheri Sher, Alexia Norton Jones, Kelly Cutrone, Tina Baker, Keri Claussen Khaligi, and another anonymous victim. Russell has denied all of the sexual assault allegations and maintains his innocence.

Russell Simmons, Sil Lai Abrams

One of Russell’s accusers Sil Lai Abrams was one of the first people to call out Tidal and Revolt, the network that Drink Champs airs on and is owned by Diddy. In a tweet Sil Lai Abrams wrote,

“The Breakfast Club airs on Puffy’s Revolt network. Tidal is owned by Jay Z. Both platforms have had Russell Simmons on talking about social justice issues despite the allegations of sexual violence and harassment he has engaged in for decades. All 3 men are Black music moguls.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.”

Sil Lai continued writing,

“This redemption campaign of Russell Simmons enabled by other media moguls like Jay Z, 50 Cent, and Puffy must be called out. Anyone who aids Russell in his quest to avoid being held accountable for his actions against Black women is complicit & should ALSO be held accountable.What we have witnessed w/@breakfastclubam & @Tidal is why there hasn’t been a peep about the rampant gender violence in hip hop. 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.”

She ended her tweets by sharing that Tidal ended up deleting their promotion of the Drink Champs episode:

Journalist Marc Lamont Hill has also faced backlash for being on the Drink Champs episode with Russell, despite the music mogul having multiple sexual assault accusations against him. Marc Lamont Hill took to twitter to apologize for being on the episode with Russell:

“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 press 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.”
See some social media reactions below:

What are your thoughts on the backlash that Tidal and Marc Lamont Hill are receiving for having Russell Simmons on the Black Lives Matter panel? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.

Authored by: Chelsea Adjalla