*HBO will be moving forward with Russell Simmons‘ “All Def Comedy,” but have scrubbed all mentions of his name from the show.
As you know, the music mogul has been hit by accusations of sexual assault — and of course, like most males accused of being toxic and destructive to the female mind, body, and spirit, Simmons denies being a perversion.
In a statement, HBO says, “HBO will be airing All Def Comedy as planned. However, Russell Simmons will not appear in the new series and we will be removing his name from the show moving forward. The series is a platform for promising and upcoming comedians and we do not want to deprive them of an opportunity to showcase their talents to a national audience. We have no other projects with Russell Simmons.”
“Def Comedy Jam,” aired on HBO from 1992-1997, and in 2006-2008. The new six-episode kicked off Dec. 1.
The hip-hop mogul announced that he’s stepping down from his empire shortly after screenwriter Jenny Lumet’s column in the Hollywood Reporter was published. Lumet claims Simmons would not let her go home and forced her into having sex with him in 1991 when she was 24.
“I have been informed with great anguish of Jenny Lumet’s recollection about our night together in 1991,” Simmons said in a statement. “I know Jenny and her family and have seen her several times over the years since the evening she described. While her memory of that evening is very different from mine, it is now clear to me that her feelings of fear and intimidation are real. While I have never been violent, I have been thoughtless and insensitive in some of my relationships over many decades and I sincerely and humbly apologize. This is a time of great transition. The voices of the voiceless, those who have been hurt or shamed, deserve and need to be heard. As the corridors of power inevitably make way for a new generation, I don’t want to be a distraction so I am removing myself from the businesses that I founded.”
Simmons is also facing accusations of rape from model Keri Claussen Khalighi.
“Everything that happened between us 26 years ago was completely consensual and with Keri’s full participation,” Simmons said of the incident. “Let me be crystal clear and very direct. Abusing women in any way shape or form violates the very core of my being,”
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Meanwhile, NBC News is erasing all memory of Matt Lauer by reportedly demolishing his office, removing his nameplate from the building and trashing all pictures of the shamed anchor, Page Six reports.
The outlet notes that network insiders have revealed that Lauer’s office on the third floor of 30 Rock was one of many undergoing renovations, but now they have instead started tearing it apart.
According to one source, “Matt’s office is being completely demolished. Everything is going, including that button under his desk, his nameplate, the photos of him in the hallways, the pictures of him online and on NBC News social media. They are so sickened by his behavior it is almost like they want to pretend he never existed.”
Lauer is reportedly offering apologies to several his former colleagues by sending personal emails saying, “I am truly sorry.” The insider added that many of the ‘Today” staffers are so shocked and outraged by Lauer’s behavior they have been unable to find the words to write back.