Russell Simmons Clarifies Stance on Obscenities
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Russell Simmons clarified his stance on the banning of certain obscenities. Earlier this week the industry mogul, along with Hip-Hop Summit Action Network head Dr. Benjamin Chavis, recommended that the broadcast and recording industries voluntarily censor the word “bitch,” “ho” and “nigger” from their airwaves and recordings. The statement was drafted following a meeting Russell had with a group of music industry executives in the wake of the Don Imus scandal. Since the recommendation was released, many media outlets and pundits have interpreted it as a call for a ban on these words altogether. When asked by Entertainment Weekly’s Margeaux Watson if that was the intended message, or whether they meant the terms should only be banned from radio and TV, Russell explained, “That’s correct. That’s a great step. And I think after we get it off the airwaves from hip-hop, then maybe the rest of the world will stop using those words so much.” Simmons was clear that he is not asking artists to stop using the words, but rather attempting to clean up what is broadcast on commercial radio and television. When asked if he has received much feedback from people in the industry about his suggestions, Russell replied that he did not want to comment on the question and noted that the idea of censoring the three words was actually not his, but that of Stephen Hill, VP of Music Programming and Talent at BET. He explained that during last week’s meeting, the group was unable to reach a consensus on the issue.