US & Canada

Russell Simmons apology for spoof sex tape of abolitionist Harriet Tubman

Russell Simmons arrives as a guest to the premiere of the new film "Lee Daniels" The Butler" in Los Angeles, California 12 August 2013
Image caption Russell Simmons made his fortune with Def Jam Records and clothes line Phat Farm

Hip-hop record mogul Russell Simmons has apologised for a parody video on his YouTube channel showing a US abolitionist heroine in a sex tape.

The clip features an actress portraying Harriet Tubman having sex with her white slave master in order to film it and blackmail him.

The video, first posted on Wednesday, has been removed from the channel.

Escaped slave Harriet Tubman helped hundreds flee bondage through a network of safe houses in the 1800s.

Tubman was a well-known "conductor" on the network, known as the Underground Railroad, making the journey south 19 times, including when she was a wanted fugitive in the region.

Tubman was also a spy for the Union army during the American Civil War.

"My first impression of the Harriet Tubman piece was that it was about what one of [the] actors said in the video, that 162 years later, there's still tremendous injustice," Simmons, the founder of Def Jam Records, said in a statement.

"I can now understand why so many people are upset," he added. "I would never condone violence against women in any form, and for all of those I offended, I am sincerely sorry."

He said he removed the video after a call from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

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