Russell Simmons Slammed for 'Tone Deaf' Comment on Nick Cannon's Troubling Post

Nick Cannon may still be swept up in controversy following his recent anti-Semitic comments, but it is Russell Simmons who is currently facing backlash. Simmons found himself wading in controversy after he made what some have dubbed a “tone deaf” comment on one of Cannon’s recent Instagram post in which he mourned the loss of his friend, rapper Ryan Bowers, who reportedly died by suicide.

In the tribute post, which has since been deleted along with all but one other post, Cannon wrote that "2020 is definitely the most f— up year I've ever witnessed" before going on to reveal that Bowers, who had been signed to the Cannon's record label, had died. In the lengthy tribute, he said that Bowers "was the strongest dude I've ever met" and that he is "certain that your energy will never die and your Spirit is eternal." He also expressed regret for "letting you down" writing that he "can't help but think if I [wasn't] so engulfed in my own bulls– I could've been there for you when you finally took your life after several attempts."

While many flocked to the post to show their support, with one person writing "Pls stay strong" while another added "keep your head up. We are behind you," Simmons took to the comments section with a less supportive and warming message. In the first of two comments, Simmons wrote, "everyone even.. every single jewish ,black muslim Christian and even us Yogi's could give a f– about yesterday. Brother it's COVID season." He added, "Call me. Ps. You change your number more then kim Kardashian."

That comment immediately sparked backlash from fans concerned over Cannon's wellbeing. In his post, the Wild 'N Out host revealed he was "barely rising from my own dark contemplation of continuing my physical existence on this planet." Many felt that Simmons' response was insincere, with one person questioning, "what the heck is wrong with you???" Somebody else said that it was "an odd comment to leave for a person who is grieving," while another person questioned "why would u think this is funny wtf."

Simmons eventually replied to Cannon's post with a second comment acknowledging his loss and offering support. In the message, he said that he was "sorry" about his loss and that "we all love you" and "u need to know this will pass." He added, "just accept that you are just more interesting" and again requested that Cannon call him. While that comment received far more support, it was still met with backlash, with one person responding by asking if someone had hijacked Simmons' account.