Revolt TV & Tidal Face Backlash After Russell Simmons Participates in Black Lives Matter Discussion

Russell Simmons
Amy Graves/WireImage

Russell Simmons attends Fonkoze's "Hot Night In Haiti" Los Angeles Event on Nov. 11, 2017 in Los Angeles.

REVOLT TV and TIDAL are facing scrutiny after fans lambasted the companies for incorporating Russell Simmons in a new Drink Champs episode discussing the importance of Black Lives Matter. 

On Tuesday (June 24), author Sil Lai Abrams -- who accused Simmons of allegedly raping her in 1994 -- questioned TIDAL and REVOLT's decision to give the mogul a platform after multiple sexual assault allegations against him surfaced in 2018. TIDAL's promotional tweet for the program caught Abrams's attention and caused her to issue a flurry of tweets slamming Jay-Z and Diddy for their alliance with Simmons.

"What in the entire hell are Jay-Z and Tidal doing by giving Russell Simmons a platform to discuss #BlackLivesMatter?" she tweeted. "Why do people continue to give him a pass? @marclamonthill did you ask him about the multiple rape allegations against him???"

Abrams repeatedly sacked the hip-hop luminaries for aiding Russell in avoiding accountability and whitewashing his legacy with their unyielding support. "There is *absolutely* an underground movement by powerful Black men in music to help Russell avoid accountability and whitewash his legacy," she said. "The Breakfast Club airs on Puffy's Revolt network. Tidal is owned by Jay Z. Both platforms have had Russell Simmons on talking about social justice issues despite the allegations of sexual violence and harassment he has engaged in for decades. All 3 men are Black music moguls."

This month, Simmons spoke out on the allegations against him after the airing of HBO's documentary On The Record. "Back then, I thought it was a game. There were no Black actresses that I didn't date, and they're my friends today," Simmons said during his interview with The Breakfast Club. "They don't have the experience of me being a monster; the movie makes me out to be." 

TIDAL has since removed the promotional tweet, and REVOLT will not air the episode, Billboard can confirm.

Marc Lamont Hill -- who was on the panel with Simmons on Drink Champs -- later tweeted about Simmons' appearance and said that he "froze" upon his entry into the panel. He also apologized for not speaking out against Simmons. "I am sorry that I shared space with someone who has caused such harm without accountability. Although I had NO IDEA he'd be on, I am nonetheless deeply sorry that I was a part of it."

Billboard reached out to reps for TIDAL and REVOLT for comment.

Check out Abrams' tweets below.