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ESSENCE Poll: When Does a Joke Go Too Far?

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Russell Simmons
Photo Credit: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Russell Simmons' new All Def Digital YouTube channel already has viewers enraged.

The first video, titled "Harriet Tubman Sex Tape" depicts an actress playing Tubman having sex with her slave master as a way to gain leverage to build the Underground Railroad. Amid outrage, Simmons has issued an apology and pulled the video down following a request from his "buddies" at the NAACP.

"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," he wrote in a statement. "And with Harriet Tubman outwitting the slave master? I thought it was politically correct. Silly me. I can now understand why so many people are upset. I have taken down the video. Lastly, I would never condone violence against women in any form, and for all of those I offended, I am sincerely sorry."

Black Twitter especially took offense to Simmon's crude video.

"By saying that the video was the "funniest thing I've ever seen," @UncleRUSH is endorsing rape culture and disrespecting a revered elder." wrote MArc Lamont Hill.

"Do ya even understand the degradation of Black women during slavery? They were RAPED!" tweeted Roland Smith.

Do you think Simmons crossed the line? What are the boundaries in comedy? Take our poll and tell us what you think.

QUESTION:
When does a joke go too far?
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