Tidal Pulls Russell Simmons Podcast Q&A After Accuser Slams JAY-Z as a "Rape Apologist"

June 24, 2020

Photo By Evan Agostini Invision AP

JAY-Z's Tidal streaming service has reportedly pulled an episode of its DrinkChamps podcast this week after getting called out for giving accused rapist Russell Simmons a platform. Pitchfork reports that Simmons was one of several guests who'd been invited to speak on the show about the Black Lives Matter movement. On Wednesday, journalist and activist Sil Lai Abrams tweeted, "What in the entire hell are JAY-Z and TIDAL doing by giving Russell Simmons a platform to discuss #BlackLivesMatter? Why do people continue to give him a pass?" She also said about Hova and Diddy, whose Revolt network had Simmons on for a radio interview last week, "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." Tidal had reportedly not only invited Simmons on the podcast, but had promoted his appearance and tagged Simmons' Twitter handle in a since-deleted tweet. Abrams came forward in 2018, accusing Simmons of raping her in 1994.