HBO has decided to move forward with the ‘All Def Comedy’ series by removing Russell Simmons’ name amid additional reports of sexual assault that recently surfaced.
A company spokesman said, “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.”
The series is produced by Simmons’ Al Def Digital brand. Tony Rock will be the host of at least six half-hour episodes set to debut on HBO Dec 1.
The co-founder of Def Jam issued an apology to his recent accuser Jenny Lumet, who claims Simmons forced her into having sex in 1991. He acknowledges that while he doesn’t recall assaulting Lumet, he does think her “feelings of fear and intimidation are real.”
The L.A. Times reports that J.C. Penny also distanced itself from Simmons. The company will no longer sell Simmons’ menswear collection Argyleculture.