This week, HBO released a statement to address its relationship with Simmons amid debuting his “All Def Comedy” Friday (December 1).
“HBO will be airing All Def Comedy as planned,” said a spokesperson about the Simmons-created series. “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.” (Statement)
Earlier this year, Simmons’ show received HBO’s green light for a handful of new episodes heading into 2018.
Set to premiere Dec. 1, “All Def Comedy” received an order for six half-hour episodes from HBO earlier this year. Hosted by Tony Rock, the series is produced by Simmons’ All Def Digital. (Variety)
The music mogul’s relationship with HBO dates back over two decades.
Simmons has been under an overall deal with HBO since 2015, but his relationship with premium cabler dates back to 1992, when he co-created Def Comedy Jam, the landmark series that helped discover Jamie Foxx, Chris Tucker, Martin Lawrence, Bernie Mac, Dave Chappelle, Kevin Hart and others. In 2002 Simmons launched the Peabody Award-winning Def Poetry Jam. HBO aired an All Def Comedy one-off special in November as part of Simmons’ overall deal, and picked up Simmons’ All Def Comedy stand-up series for a six-episode season to premiere in December. (Deadline)
Yesterday, Russell issued a headline-generating statement about leaving his companies amid a new sexual assault accusation.