News: Opposing To Censoring
Over the past few weeks Hip-Hop artists and the music they make have received a tremendous amount of scrutiny due in part to their lyrics and use of language.
Earlier this week, the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network's Russell Simmons and Dr. Benjamin Chavis issued a statement calling for the removal of such words as "b**ch," "ho" and "n***er" from radio and television with the concern that these words seem to be taken lightly by the networks.
The concern of Simmons and Dr. Chavis is that the media has made it seem as if they are trying to censor artists and limit their artistic freedom when, according to Simmons, this is quite contrary to what they're actually trying to do.
"The proposal and plan is to take [corporate] responsibility to what we send to the public airwaves," Russell Simmons told. "So that children and innocent old ladies can digest our truth beyond the objection to language. The clean radio and TV versions are where the issue is. We want ‘b**ch', ‘hoe' and ‘‘n***a' to be treated like ‘sh**', ‘f**k'', etc."
Simmons and Dr. Chavis are gearing their focus on corporate responsibility when it comes to the matter of language.
"Hip-Hop deals with truth not misinterpretation," Dr. Benjamin Chavis added. "There are too many incorrect and inaccurate ‘spins' being put out in the mainstream and industry related media concerning the 'recommendations' that we issued on Monday, Apr. 23, 2007 to the recording and broadcast industry. We did not recommend censorship. It [is] inaccurate to state that we are for a 'ban' or 'censorship'...we are opposed to any and all censorship."
Simmons and Dr. Chavis have also called for the formation of the Coalition on Broadcast Standards which will include leading executives from music, radio, and television industries.
Together, these coalition members will recommend guidelines for lyrical and visual content for recording and media industries.
An increased amount of blame was placed on Hip-Hop after talk show host Don Imus was fired for derogatory comments he made about the Rutgers University women's basketball team.
Chairman Russell Simmons recently appeared on the Oprah Winfrey show's town hall meeting regarding Hip-Hop.
"I may mentor or help educate or spread love to an artist but his or her painting is his or her own," Simmons explained. "The greatest attribute of Hip-Hop is that it tells the truth."