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.
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.”
Russell Simmons is really living his best life across the seas doing hot yoga and drinking beet juice to avoid being held accountable. No one wants to talk about this, huh? Oh okay.
— ?????? (@callmedollar) June 23, 2020
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.
— jade (@divanificent) June 23, 2020
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… ???
— Bella Goth (@HoodSocialism) June 23, 2020
NOBODY should be praising or giving Russell Simmons a platform to speak about anything. When shit hit the fan about those allegations he left America. That should tell you everything.
— 4pfChainJulius (@FunnyJulius) June 23, 2020
marc didn't confront russell simmons because he was scared. men are scared of other men. especially powerful men. they're scared because the man may react with violence either direct and physical or passive aggressive violence through harming one's career and reputation.
— a mensch and a menace ? (@areeta1111) June 23, 2020
A whole Black Lives Matter Conversation Skyping in accused serial rapist Russell Simmons in from Bali. Doesn’t @TIDAL crow about being a pro-Black platform? Why did anyone think this was okay after the last two weeks?
— Comorienne ?? (@_ShamGod) June 23, 2020
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
— Black Capitalism is not Liberation ?? (@IAmBumblebee) June 23, 2020
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.
— AD (?Edition) (@DrameTV2) June 23, 2020
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
— Jason (Your Gay BFF) (@EscaflowneClown) June 23, 2020
Shame on @TIDAL and every single person involved in platforming Russell Simmons to speak about Black Lives Matter, a known sexual abuser of Black women (+20) who has fled the country to dodge allegations, court dates, etc
— Peppa Pig Hate Account (@JRYussuf) June 23, 2020
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.