This is weird: Russell Simmons has teamed up with women’s network Oxygen to produce a show about his life.
Why would women be interested in watching a media mogul in a show called “The Russel Simmons Project,” billed as “exclusive peek at the life of entrepreneur, entertainment and fashion icon, philanthropist and yogi, Russell Simmons, and the powerful team who runs his businesses”? Oh, because Simmons has an assistant, and she’s a woman, and we’ll get to watch him as he bosses around his team “comprised of strong, passionate women.”
It gets somehow even more offensive, since Simmons’ “women network” is comprised of “dating coaches, spiritual advisors, and close confidantes.” You really have to read the press release in its entirety to get the mind-bogglingly backwards logic of a show on Oxygen about a rich man who’s made a career off a genre of music known for its degradation of women, who keeps a bunch of women circulating his celebrity orbit. Luckily, we’ve provided one for you after the jump.
OXYGEN MEDIA PARTNERS WITH MEGA MOGUL RUSSELL SIMMONS ON DEVELOPMENT OF NEW DOCU-SERIES
New York, NY — December 7, 2009 — Oxygen Media is currently in development with Russell Simmons on “The Russell Simmons Project,” a behind-the scenes docu-series featuring the women behind the mogul. The announcement was made today by Amy Introcaso-Davis, Senior Vice President, Original Programming and Development for Oxygen Media.
Behind every good man is a great woman but behind every American mogul stands many great women. “The Russell Simmons Project” will offer an exclusive peek at the life of entrepreneur, entertainment and fashion icon, philanthropist and yogi, Russell Simmons, and the powerful team who runs his businesses. Russell’s assistants not only manage his business deals, but also his family life, party planning and love life — a commitment that is 24/7. These associates, who work from his penthouse office on Fashion Avenue in NYC, are entrenched in every aspect of his life. Their glam jobs bring them face-to-face with everyone from former presidents and international royalty to Hollywood’s elite. And with many new upcoming projects to juggle in the worlds of fashion, film and television, they certainly have their work cut out for them.
“Russell Simmons is a fascinating man and seeing his world through the eyes of his dream team comprised of strong, passionate women provides a unique experience for our viewers,” said Amy Introcaso-Davis, Senior Vice President, Original Programming and Development for Oxygen Media. “We’re excited to team up with Russell on this project and shine the spotlight on his core group that are living the dream alongside him.”
This group of valuable colleagues serves as Russell’s closest confidantes, fierce gatekeepers, dating coaches, spiritual advisors, philanthropic czars, business liaisons and more.
“Throughout my career I have surrounded myself with people smarter than me,” said Russell Simmons. “This show will let them shine and provide insight into how we build our empire from the inside out.”
Named by USA Today as one of the “Top 25 Most Influential People of the Past 25 Years,” Russell Simmons is a hip-hop pioneer, known for his groundbreaking vision influencing music, fashion, finance, television and film. Simmons is also actively changing the face of modern philanthropy and in May 2009, he was honored by the United Nations as the Goodwill Ambassador For The Permanent Memorial To Honor The Victims Of Slavery And The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade. Russell Simmons has been instrumental in bringing the powerful influence of hip-hop culture to every facet of business and media since its inception in the late 1970s. From producing and/or managing such early hip-hop artists as Kurtis Blow, Run DMC, Whodini and the Beastie Boys to signing influential luminaries like Jay Z, Foxy Brown and Ludacris, Simmons’ revolutionary vision was crystallized with partner Rick Rubin in the creation of the seminal Def Jam Recordings in 1984, launching the cultural revolution known as hip-hop. Russell Simmons has been the architect of that phenomenon, envisioning and creating trends in pop culture. His early fashion empire Phat Farm, which begat Baby Phat and Run Athletics, put the stake in the ground for hip-hop clothing and others followed. Simmons has also put his mark on the financial services industry, leveling the playing field for all to have access to the American Dream with the Unirush Company’s RushCard. In 2006, Simmons broke new ground again, becoming the first African American to launch a major jewelry company — Simmons Jewelry Co. (SJC) — with partner and SJC president, Scott Rauch. This past spring, Russell released a book entitled “Do You! 12 Laws to Access the Power in You to Achieve Happiness and Success,” which was a top four New York Times Best Seller. And, with Accel Partners’ Jim Breyer, Russell co-funded the Simmons’ founded unique, personalized Internet portal for the hip-hop community — GlobalGrind.com — with the purpose of connecting young people around the world. Simmonsâ€™ newest ventures include two clothing collections — Argyleculture and American Classics. Russell Simmons’ interests extend far beyond the business world, spending a great deal of his time working for social, political, and philanthropic causes. In 1995 he, along with his brothers Danny and Joseph Simmons (Rev. Run of Run DMC), founded Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation. The organization is dedicated to providing disadvantaged urban youth with exposure to the arts, as well as offering exhibition opportunities to underrepresented artists and artists of color. He is also Chairman of Rush Community Affairs and the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, dedicated to bringing all religions and ethnicities together. Following the historic Hip-Hop Summit Russell organized in June 2001, he co-founded the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network (HSAN) with civil rights activist Dr. Benjamin Chavis. HSAN’s mission is to harness the cultural relevance of hip-hop music as a catalyst for education advocacy and other societal concerns fundamental to the well being of at-risk youth throughout the United States. Russell Simmons is a native New Yorker who attended City College of New York. Russell and Kimora Lee have two daughters, Ming Lee and Aoki Lee.