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Russell Simmons to step aside from companies in the wake of new sexual assault allegation

2023-05-22 12:46:35 author:sh419

Russell Simmons to step aside from companies in the wake of new sexual assault allegation

Russell Simmons to step aside from companies in the wake of new sexual assault allegation(图1)

Music mogul Russell Simmons has announced that he will "step aside" from his companies in the wake of a new sexual assault allegation from screenwriter Jenny Lumet.

In a harrowing open letter published by (opens in a new tab)The Hollywood Reporter(opens in a new tab), Lumet recalls a night around 1991 when Simmons allegedly offered her a ride home from a restaurant, but refused to take her back to her apartment, instead taking her to his residence in a locked car.

Lumet alleges coercive behavior from Simmons and his driver to get her into his building, and the fear she felt once Simmons had her alone:

You didn’t punch me, drag me or verbally threaten me.  You used your size to maneuver me, quickly, into the elevator. I said “Wait. Wait.”  I felt dread.  I was very, very sad.  I didn’t know if the driver was a further threat, or an ally. I was both relieved and terrified when he did not get into the elevator. Alone in the elevator, you pressed me into the corner with your body, your hands and your mouth.

The elevator did not stop on the way up to your apartment. I was moved very quickly inside. I recall hearing the apartment door closing behind us.

I saw no one else. I recall you were behind me. I was still hoping the Russell I knew would reappear, as I could not recognize the man moving me deeper into the apartment -- the man who had said “No” to his driver. Twice.

You moved me into a bedroom. I said “Wait.” You said nothing.

I made the trade in my mind. I thought “just keep him calm and you’ll get home.” Maybe another person would have thought differently, or not made the trade.

  It was dark, but not pitch dark. You closed the door.

At that point, I simply did what I was told.

Russell Simmons to step aside from companies in the wake of new sexual assault allegation(图2)

In response, Simmons released a statement to THR apologizing to Lumet for his behavior and announcing that he plans to "step aside" from his businesses(opens in a new tab), which include Def Jam Enterprises, Def Pictures, Def Comedy Jam, Celsius, Tantris and RushCard, along with several charitable foundations:

"I have been informed with great anguish of Jenny Lumet’s recollection about our night together in 1991. 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 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. The companies will now be run by a new and diverse generation of extraordinary executives who are moving the culture and consciousness forward. I will convert the studio for yogic science into a not-for-profit center of learning and healing. As for me, I will step aside and commit myself to continuing my personal growth, spiritual learning and above all to listening."

Earlier this month, the LA Times reported that Simmons and his friend Brett Ratner have been accused of sexual misconduct by at least two women -- Keri Claussen Khalighi, a model who was 17 at the time of the alleged assault by Simmons, and an unnamed 29-year-old who alleged that she had been held against her will by "two males who both unlawfully touched her." Variety reported that Simmons and Ratner were investigated by the Beverly Hills Police Department(opens in a new tab) in 2001 over the latter incident, but prosecutors declined to press charges. Simmons denied those claims.

Actor Terry Crews also revealed an email Simmons sent to him regarding a WME agent who allegedly groped Crews, apparently telling Crews to give his abuser "a pass."

Read Lumet's letter to Simmons and his response here(opens in a new tab).

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    French toast and bagels belong in entirely separate breakfast dominions Credit: screenshot/panera

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    3. Bagel doughnuts


    View this post on Instagram
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)


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    View this post on Instagram
    (opens in a new tab) (Opens in a new tab)

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    Her order was indefensible.

    9. Blueberry bagels

    View this post on Instagram
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    Blueberry bagels violate the bagel code of ethics by virtue of being: too blue, too sweet, and too much a berry.

    If you see a friend order a blueberry bagel, please consider talking them down.

    10. The Flamin' Hot Cheetos Bagel(Opens in a new tab)

    Originally sold by the Bagel Nook in Freehold, New Jersey, this bagel is a crime against other bagels. Bagels shouldn't be spicy. They should be deeply banal and plain. Even cinnamon raisin is a step too far some bagel traditionalists, but that seems unnecessarily restrictive.

    Flamin' Hot Cheetos bagels have no place in the bagel canon.

    11. Verbal crimes against bagels

    Via Giphy(opens in a new tab)(Opens in a new tab)

    Anyone who disrespects bagels by accusing them of being unhealthy is committing a bagel crime. That's bagel harassment. Give the bagel the respect it deserves.

    Tell bagels how much you love them, everyday and to every person you know.

  • Fergie performed a jazzy rendition of the national anthem. It did not go well.

    Fergie performed a jazzy rendition of the national anthem. It did not go well.


    Alright, where do you even start with a performance like this.

    Pop star and Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie opened the NBA All-Star game with her rendition of the national anthem, and by goodness, it was an interesting rendition to say the least.

    SEE ALSO: 'Black Panther' star Chadwick Boseman hands over mask to Victor Oladipo

    While other singers may have opted for a straight-up, no fuss performance; Fergie gave the anthem a jazzy twist, which is incredible in both its braveness and repugnance for the ear.

    There's no saving jazz this time, folks.

    Throughout the performance, Fergie wildly shifts between different keys for some reason.

    In the background, there are people noticeably smiling along to Fergie's rendition, possibly trying to hold back their laughter. That didn't stop people on the internet from making fun of it.


    Fergie's rendition cast people's minds back to track athlete Carl Lewis. You might remember his famously rocky national anthem performance at an NBA game between the Nets and the Bulls, all the way back in 1993.

    On TV, former NBA player turned analyst Charles Barkley tried to get people to talk about Fergie's performance. Shaq wouldn't have it.

    "It was different, it was sexy. Leave her alone," Shaq said.

  • Who is Vecna in Stranger Things and why is the internet talking about them?

    Who is Vecna in Stranger Things and why is the internet talking about them?

    The first seven episodes of Stranger Things Season 4 were released on Netflix on Friday (May 27), and the internet is abuzz with hot takes, memes, and predictions about the final two episodes that are scheduled to drop in July. That means that for the next few weeks, prepare to see the name "Vecna" all over your social media feeds.


    With tens of thousands of tweets, Vecna is already the breakout star of the season. So, who is Vecna? And why is the internet so obsessed with it? Let's talk about it.

    Mild Spoilers ahead.

    SEE ALSO: The escapism of 'Stranger Things' Season 4 just hits different in 2022

    Who is Vecna?

    The Vecna the internet speaks of. Credit: Courtesy of Netflix

    Vecna is to Stranger Things 4 what the Demogorgon was to Season 1. In other words, he's the big, scary monster wreaking havoc on Hawkins.

    Vecna lives in the Upside Down and preys on people's past traumas and guilt. The monster curses its victims, making them relive their trauma in progressively more gruesome ways until it violently kills them. (And we mean, like, really violently.) Vecna slaughters its targets by levitating them in the air, breaking all their bones, and making their eyes and skull implode. And like its predecessors (the Demogorgon, the Mind Flayer), Vecna is named by the Party after a Dungeons & Dragons character.

    In the final episode of Stranger Things 4 Volume 1, it's revealed that Vecna isn't native to the Upside Down, but was banished there by Eleven after he gruesomely massacred the Hawkins National Lab. Vecna was the original child studied by Dr. Brenner and the son of Victor Creel. He's the infamous Number One, but had his powers blocked and worked as an aide in the Hawkins National Lab. He befriended Eleven at the lab and not knowing Vecna was evil, Eleven restored his powers resulting in the massacre and his expulsion to the Upside Down.

    Before coming to the Hawkins National Lab, Venca had a classic villain origin story — he became obsessed with black widows, tortured his family, and brutally killed his mother and sister pinning it on his father.

    One/Vecna had his powers blocked and was working as an aide at Hawkins National Lab where he befriended Eleven. Not knowing that One was evil, Eleven restored his powers which he used to gruesomely massacre the entire lab. Eleven banished One/Vecna to the Upside Down where he's been attacking the Hawkins teens from.

    Vecna notably targets Max (Sadie Sink), and the Hawkins gang discovers that the only way for her to avoid being killed by his curse is to play Max her favorite song, which happens to be "Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)" by Kate Bush. As a result of its inclusion in the show, the 1985 track has skyrocketed in popularity and currently sits at No. 2 on Spotify's top 50 U.S. chart(Opens in a new tab) and No. 4 on its top 200 global chart.(Opens in a new tab)

    Max's obsession with "Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)" sparked a larger conversation on social media about discovering music through a television show. Some gatekeepers stuck up their nose at people finding the track through Stranger Things, while others celebrated the iconic song beguiling a new generation.

    While the ending of Episode 4 — in which Max runs from Vecna in the Upside Down trying to reach a portal to the real world while listening to "Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)" — is the standout scene of the season, it hasn't been Vecna's only viral moment. Vecna's weakness unsurprisingly became an opportunity for viewers to share what song would save their life.

    "What's your Vecna song?"

    "What's your Vecna song?" is now the pop-culture-savvy way to ask for someone's favorite song.

    What song would save you?

  • Heated fingerless gloves are perfect for your refrigerator of an office


    Heated fingerless gloves are perfect for your refrigerator of an office

    Sitting in an office that's being pumped full of icy air is one of life's more uncomfortable experiences (aside from, you know, childbirth, etc.) But turns out, there's an answer to frigid offices: heated fingerless gloves.

    SEE ALSO: Cold food is the best food

    Spotted by Popsugar(opens in a new tab), the $4 USB Heating Winter Gloves(opens in a new tab) created by Iusun are made of wool, and each one contains a heating pad powered by your laptop or computer via an eight-inch USB cable. According to the gloves' description on Amazon, they consume a minimal amount of power to conserve energy. They're also available in either blue and or purple.

    USB Heating Winter Gloves Credit: amazon

    Sadly, the gloves' reviews on Amazon(opens in a new tab) are a mixed bag.

    Some people love the gloves and the warmth they provide, others found that their gloves stopped functioning quickly and got a little too hot.

    But, as someone who is perpetually cold and needs to carry around a light sweater even in the hottest of weather, I could see testing them out for $4.

    And should I want to upgrade, this more expensive pair(opens in a new tab) from Smoko (shaped like two slices of toast!) is a very cute option.

    SMOKO Toast Hand Warmers Credit: amazon

    Stay cozy, everyone.

    [H/T: Popsugar(opens in a new tab)]

  • Gabbie Hanna returns to social media

    Gabbie Hanna returns to social media

    Nearly two months after leaving social media, Gabbie Hanna returned to YouTube with an explanation.


    "I'm well, thanks for asking," Hanna said toward the end of her latest video. "Surprise! I'm still here"

    In a 46-minute video titled "i'm back. (why i left, why i'm scared for my life, the shadowban, & everything else)" Hanna explained that she had been "some kind of manic" after becoming a TikTok meme and deleting Instagram, Twitter and TikTok.

    She had gone viral and became the butt of online jokes after she posted a video accusing YouTube of suppressing her content. Being involved in years of creator drama fueled her critics, whom she infamously referred to as "high school fucking bullies." Hanna described the actions leading up to her departure from social media as a "mental breakdown," and said she needed to separate herself because it brought back trauma from being part of a "toxic, abusive friend group."

    "I was dealing with some really heavy shit that I wasn't able to properly process with all those eyes on me," Hanna said in her return video. "I needed to fuck off with the internet and handle this shit the right way."

    Leaving the public eye didn't stop the harassment, Hanna said, which followed her to a private Discord server she uses to communicate with fans. She added that "they" — she believes former friends are leading the harassment campaign against her — began harassing her fans, a majority of whom are minors. Hanna said the harassment aimed at her fans pushed one to self-harm.

    Addressing accusations of YouTube shadow banning her channel, or preventing users from seeing her content, Hanna clarified that the platform has listed her channel as restricted before. She said that in 2018, after going viral for her botched Genius interview, YouTube added a "Restricted" tag to her videos, which meant it was unavailable to underage users and those trying to view her content on public Wi-Fi, like libraries.

    Hanna touched on her ongoing feud(Opens in a new tab) with fellow creator Trisha Paytas. Paytas previously claimed that Hanna told her then-boyfriend that Paytas had herpes, which Paytas disputed and found wildly inappropriate. Hanna said breaking down her feud with Paytas would require a whole video in itself, but expressed concern that her side of the story would never be taken seriously because of her involvement in past scandals.

    "I feel like YouTube has fostered a really toxic, harmful environment where people have figured out the quickest way to make a name for yourself is to destroy the name of somebody who has already made theirs," Hanna said. "YouTube rewards that heavily."

    SEE ALSO: Here's why Gabbie Hanna is all over TikTok

    She said that seeking treatment for her mental health and being in a healthy relationship has helped, and that she had considered taking legal action against her harassers. Her Twitter(Opens in a new tab) and Instagram(Opens in a new tab) accounts are public again.

    "I'm not this devil everyone makes me out to be, but I'm not a fucking angel," Hanna concluded. "I have a lot of issues that I'm working through and will continue to work through for my entire life."

  • The internet documents a British monarchs death — for the first time

    The internet documents a British monarchs death — for the first time

    Queen Elizabeth II, the longest serving monarch in British history, died yesterday at Balmoral, the Scottish residence of the Royal Family.


    This is the first time in history that a British monarch has died and social media exists. With the latter, the Queen's death has been documented, described, and analysed in a hugely unprecedented way. There were hashtags and tweets; TikTok explainers; and many, many, many memes (think new levels of niche and zeitgeist-y).

    SEE ALSO: All the strange ways people found out about Queen Elizabeth II's death via the internet

    As with most major events, Twitter was a central hub for conversation, with timelines oscillating between the emotional, the critical, and the entertaining (also controversial — Newsweek described some of these tweets as "distasteful"(Opens in a new tab)). Elsewhere, TikTok presented explainers and news-y items, delivering information to users about what happened during the Queen's life(Opens in a new tab) and what happens now(Opens in a new tab). The hashtag #queenelizabeth(Opens in a new tab) now holds over 5.2 billion views on the app.

    The news itself was broken to the public by the Royal Family Twitter account(Opens in a new tab), which publicly announced that she "died peacefully" at 6:30 p.m. on the day.

    Tributes poured in from world leaders, celebrities and members of the royal family. Brands and businesses also jumped onto the bandwagon(Opens in a new tab), posting tributes that came across as somewhat bizarre(Opens in a new tab) depending on the company. Think: Heinz(Opens in a new tab), Crazy Frog(Opens in a new tab) (?), Domino's Pizza(Opens in a new tab), and Gregg's(Opens in a new tab). These kind of posts account for some of the bizarre ways people found out about her death in the first place.

    The official accounts of the Royal Family also had to adjust — and act quickly — in the face of the news. In real time, people witnessed the speed with which the information arrived, posts were added, and titles changed. A statement from Prince Charles, now His Majesty the King(Opens in a new tab), was posted with haste; the Twitter handles for Prince William and Kate Middleton were rapidly changed, including the addition of a title(Opens in a new tab). The pair's profile now reads: "The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and Cambridge".

    View this post on Instagram
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    There are also specific official protocols for these accounts now. According to reports by Politico(Opens in a new tab), many of the "immediate plans" following the monarch's death are directly related to social media. These plans include a digital halt for governmental accounts(Opens in a new tab), meaning non-essential content will not be posted. Meanwhile, the UK government and Royal Family's website will display as states of mourning, emblazoned with statements on the home page alongside black banners honoring the Queen's death.

    These actions are a testament to both the significance of social media and how many eyes are watching official handles and pages, always. This is largely new territory for the British monarchy(Opens in a new tab), that actual policy must be invoked to rightfully commemorate the event. Digital and traditional protocols(Opens in a new tab) are seemingly at par with one another now, an indication of "institutions" like the Royal Family having to shift with the times.

    Depths of Wikipedia(Opens in a new tab), the social media page(s) dedicated to unpacking Wikipedia's strangest moments, also tracked how editors jumped to doctoring Queen Elizabeth II's Wiki page. This, in itself, is a peak digital culture with historic incident crossover: a niche internet account tracing the online biography of the Queen, being edited in real-time.

    As was the case with news of her death, the impact of the Queen on social media is applicable to her lifetime(Opens in a new tab): online users memefied(Opens in a new tab), discoursed, and revelled in the Queen — her public image, outfits, lifestyle, etc. — for years. During her reign, she became a subgenre of internet culture, almost ubiquitous to the meme cycle and digital conversations, making thousands of appearances in unrelated tweets and Instagram accounts.

    With this digital documentation of her death, the experience also, and notably, became a shared one, both within the UK and globally. No matter what personal feelings one harboured towards the Queen or the Royal Family, we could all turn to social media and the internet for updates and commentary. In the midst of the historic moment, social channels became a sort of diary, making history in itself. Jokes, critiques, and reactions poured out on social media, with no time to spare, as an era came to an end.

  • Elizabeth Warren has a plan for that memes are here to test your rhyming skills

    Elizabeth Warren has a plan for that memes are here to test your rhyming skills


    How many words can you think of that rhyme with plan? If the answer is "at least one" then we have great news: You can take part in the latest Elizabeth Warren meme!

    On Sunday, Twitter user @zoe_samuel(Opens in a new tab) started a thread of jokes about Warren inspired by the fact that the Democratic presidential candidate seems to have a plan for everything.

    The first tweet read, "When it's breakfast time, Elizabeth Warren has a bran for that," and from there the rhymes just kept coming.

    SEE ALSO: The best Elizabeth Warren memes from the 2020 campaign trail so far


    Samuel came up with a bunch of hilarious hypothetical scenarios in which Warren would fix a situation by presenting a solution that rhymes with "plan," such as "fan," "man," "pan," "clan," and even "flan."

    The rhyming format was so damn catchy that it wasn't long before others joined in on the meme. Soon, Twitter was flooded with Warren jokes. A beautiful, lighthearted sight.

    Rest assured that if we need someone to inspire new memes, Elizabeth Warren is the woman for that.

  • Disneylands animatronic Ursula lost her head mid-song, and its kind of relatable

    Disneylands animatronic Ursula lost her head mid-song, and its kind of relatable


    Seems like Ursula is over her job.

    On Sunday, Disney fans were treated to a terrifying -- and hilarious -- performance at Disneyland's California Adventure Park. The animatronic Ursula at Ariel's Undersea Adventure lost her head, but kept singing through the ride.

    It's pretty bad.

    SEE ALSO: What's next for 'The Simpsons' after years of mocking their new owner Disney?

    Twitter user @dizzzymissy caught the poor unfortunate soul on video:

    Throughout the rendition of "Poor Unfortunate Soul" the animatronic Ursula swayed back and forth, her decapitated head dangling by only a few wires. It's sad, but true.

    Some Twitter users found the debacle hysterical.

    Others found the headless sea witch absolutely horrifying.


    Ursula wasn't the only animatronic character to lose her head at Disneyland. The same day, the Auctioneer at Pirates of the Caribbean was apparently decapitated, too.

    As much as the robotic Disney characters seemed done with their jobs, they powered through their performances and it's kind of admirable. We've all been there.

    As Walt Disney himself said, "We keep moving forward" . . . even if you lose your head in the process.

    Disneyland did not immediately respond to request for comment.