Read of the Day: “I am Completely Disgusted by the ‘Harriet Tubman Sex Tape’”
6:00 pm, August 15th | by Colette McIntyre
You know what really seems ripe for the LOLs? Harriet Tubman. You know, the fearless abolitionist who single-handedly guided hundreds of slaves to freedom and safety via the Underground Railroad. Don’t you think she deserves a good roasting? No? No one? Oh, just Russell Simmons, because he’s A BONER?! Earlier today, a video was posted to Simmons’ YouTube channel All Def Digital that depicted Tubman having sex with her master while a fellow slave filmed it. As everyone other than Russell Simmons could predict, this terrible idea had few people laughing. xoJane’s Pia Glenn explains why the video was hurtful and not hilarious.
The words ‘Harriet Tubman Sex Tape’ first stank up my Twitter feed in the middle of an otherwise calm afternoon, and I really couldn’t believe my eyes. I clicked on a tweet about it and the still images alone turned my stomach.
I didn’t click the link. I couldn’t. I felt compelled to write about it, about my decision to not even watch it, and I even got some requests to write about the video from some incredibly supportive people via Twitter. But I just couldn’t. An opinion offered on something that I have not experienced would be an uneducated opinion and that is the last thing I would want to be seen as.
OK, maybe the second-to-last thing. The last thing I want to be seen as is the comedy police and after writing this, I was terrified that that is precisely what would happen. That I would surely never work again, and that the comedy world would hate me. And still…I was curious…
My morbid curiosity was trumped by the fact that I was having a lovely afternoon and I didn’t need what I was certain would be a nightmare destroying my chill. But then I felt guilty. After all, I too make the funny and I’ve certainly posted videos on my YouTube channel that could potentially be deemed offensive or taken the wrong way. Shouldn’t I at least give this video a chance? I’ve certainly done some outlandish shit whilst comeding; who am I to judge?
And there’s always the chance that—gulp– I would like the Harriet Tubman video. AND I could watch it alone and I wouldn’t even have to tell anyone if I did!
But no. The thumbnail image of a black actress in slave drag bent over at the waist with a white man on his knees spoke louder than my curiosity.
To read the full piece, click here.