A controversial parody "sex tape" based on the historic abolitionist Harriet Tubman has been pulled by Russell Simmons from his All Def Digital YouTube channel, with Simmons offering an apology for the video, reports the New York Daily News.
The video features Shanna Malcolm as Tubman, who engages in sex with her master as a way to blackmail him into helping to create the Underground Railroad, the story says.
The video sparked an outcry and a petition on Change.org, which condemned the parody.
"Not only does the Harriet Tubman ‘sex tape’ make a mockery of the history of transatlantic slavery, Harriet Tubman’s memory in particular and the painful reality of sexual exploitation and terror in the lives of enslaved women, but the video also contributes to rape culture by perpetuating the myth that women only ‘pretend’ not to enjoy being forced into having sex against their will," the petition says.
Simmons said his "buddies" at the NAACP called and asked him to take down the tape.
"In the whole history of Def Comedy Jam, I’ve never taken down a controversial comedian," he wrote in a statement on Globalgrind. "When my buddies from the NAACP called and asked me to take down the Harriet Tubman video from the All Def Digital YouTube Channel and apologize, I agreed."
He added, "Lastly, I would never condone violence against women in any form, and for all those I offended, I am sincerely sorry."