After being dismayed to discover that a video depicting Harriet Tubman blackmailing her slave master with a sex tape was not the laugh riot he thought it was, Russell Simmons now says he wants to tell Tubman’s story again—only this time, maybe not with the whole “conning her way into freedom by having sex with her slave master” angle. In a series of tweets, Simmons said he’d spent the days since the controversy erupted speaking with Tubman’s descendants, Rita and Geraldine Daniels, and offering a personal apology for commemorating the 100th anniversary of Tubman’s death by portraying her as, in Daniels’ words, a “whoremonger.”
As Simmons said, “They have not only accepted my apology but we agree that we should begin immediately to develop the story of Harriet Tubman”—presumably for a big-screen biopic, almost assuredly for one that will not play slave rape for laughs—as who better to present her story than the man who already did, but had no clue that how he did it was incredibly offensive? Still, “God works in mysterious ways,” Simmons concluded of the ineffable plans of his creator, who perhaps intended all along for there to be a bigger, better Harriet Tubman project for Russell Simmons to profit from. “When there was only one set of footprints, that was when I was off editing your comedy video where Harriet Tubman gets violated doggystyle,” God said.