Russell Simmons has been forced to remove a Harriet Tubman ''sex tape'' parody from his All Def Digital YouTube channel.
The Def Jam record label founder also issued a lengthy apology for the spoof video, which was branded a sacrilege to the iconic abolitionist's memory by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
In an article entitled 'I Get It and I Respect It' on Globalgrind.com, Russell wrote: ''In the whole history of Def Comedy Jam, I've never taken down a controversial comedian. 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.
''I'm a very liberal person with thick skin and it's hard to offend me. My first impression of the Harriet Tubman piece was that it was about what one of actors said in the video, that 162 years later, there's still tremendous injustice. And Harriet Tubman outwitting the slave master, I thought it was politically correct. Silly me.''
The U-turn comes after he tweeted about the video on Wednesday (14.08.13), calling it the ''funniest thing I've ever seen''.
Within hours of it being posted, a heavily-backed petition on Change.org demanded its removal as well as an apology from Russell, while outraged members of the public took to Twitter to complain after 'Harriet Tubman' became a trending topic on the social networking site for all the wrong reasons.
The video - which stars Shanna Malcolm as Harriet - sees the African-American abolitionist have aggressive sex with her ''Massa'' while a fellow slave secretly records it. She then tries to use the sex tape to blackmail her white owner into giving her control of the Underground Railroad, which the real Harriet used to lead slaves to freedom.
The video is part of Russell's new All Def Digital YouTube channel venture, featuring a mix of music, comedy and All Def Poetry sessions. The ''Harriet Tubman Sex Tape'' was the first history-themed comedy sketch out of several planned on the channel.