The Dec. 1 premiere of HBO’s All Def Comedy will go one as planned, as the network will reportedly air six half-hour episodes over the course of a few weeks. However, a spokesperson for HBO confirms that Russell Simmons will not appear in the new series, and all mention of him in the show has been scrapped.
“…Russell Simmons will not appear in the new series and we will be removing his name from the show moving forward,” the spokesperson says. This change in the show’s display comes after sexual assault allegations against the All Def Digital co-founder have come to light.
“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,” the spokesperson continues. “We have no other projects with Russell Simmons.”
Simmons stepped down from his companies Thursday after a sexual assault accusation from screenwriter Jenny Lumet made headlines. Lumet wrote a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter, and detailed that the Def Comedy Jam creator forced her to have sex in 1991. Simmons responded by saying that although he does not recall all moments of the encounter, Lumet’s “feelings of fear and intimidation are real.”
“I will step aside and commit myself to continuing my personal growth, spiritual learning and above all to listening,” his statement read.