130114_russell_simmons_ap_605Russell Simmons owes Harriet Tubman an apology for the Harriet Tubman Sex Video, or what some call the Harriet Tubman Sex Tape.

Posted during the night, about 11 hours ago, the reaction against it by many blacks and whites, many black groups, and anyone regardless of color who has any degree of appreciation for what slaves went through just 140 years ago, was rapid.

The objective on Russell Simmons part, and from the standpoint of this video-blogger was obvious: to promote his new All Def Digital YouTube Channel, a collaboration between Rush Digital Media, Simmons’ media company, and Dreamworks Animation subsidiary Awesomeness TV.

As a YouTube Partner at Zennie62 Channel, I know how hard it is to gain notice, and what one has to do to get over “the noise,” but for Russell Simmons to chose this strategy and for Awesomeness TV to go along with it without question just shows how stupid and culturally tone deaf both person and organization really are.

ht4 There was nothing funny about the 3 minute video. It shows a depiction of Harriet Tubman as some kind of over-weight Aunt Jamima-looking sex fiend who uses strap-ons, when there’s no historic reference to Harriet Tubman being overweight to start with, thus calling into question how the Awesomeness TV producers and director of the video actually look at African American women, particularly in history.

And what the producers believed would be funny, and presumably Russell Simmons too, was showing Harriet Tubman having fast-motion, clothes-on sex in different positions. It wasn’t funny, and it certainly wasn’t erotic – if you actually have to see it, you’ll come away slapping yourself in the face for having done so.

I guarantee it.

But such an action wasn’t in the mind of Russell Simmons, who Twitter tweeted that the video was the “funniest thing I’ve ever seen,” before removing that tweet. If that’s the “funniest thing I’ve ever seen,” for him, he hasn’t seen much, or is forgetful.

Well, yep.

Look, digital media calls for an unorthodox approach, but you have to weigh both sides of the coin that go with what you’re trying to do. It’s not just being sensitive, it’s respecting historical figures who did good things that changed a culture. From that perspective, alone, Harriet Tubman should have been off limits.

The thrust of blame will be to Russell Simmons, but Awesomeness TV, just bought by Dreamworks for $117 million, must share the load as well. They can’t get off scot-free because they’re a company, or managed by someone white – Americans of any color should know better.

Stay tuned.

By Zennie Abraham

Zennie Abraham | Zennie Abraham or "Zennie62" is the founder of Zennie62Media which consists of zennie62blog.com and a multimedia blog news aggregator and video network, and 78-blog network, with social media and content development services and consulting. Zennie is a pioneer video blogger, YouTube Partner, social media practitioner, game developer, and pundit. Note: news aggregator content does not reflect the personal views of Mr. Abraham.