Actress Ashley Judd has reached out to rap mogul Russell Simmons to clarify comments published in her memoir after she accused hip-hop stars Snoop Dogg and Sean Diddy Combs of providing the "contemporary soundtrack of misogyny."
The Double Jeopardy star reveals all about her child abuse hell in her autobiography, "All That Is Bitter and Sweet," in which she also details her work with global health organisation YouthAids and raises concerns about the support its received from the two top rappers.
She writes, "Along with other performers, YouthAids was supported by rap and hip-hop artists like Snoop Dogg and P Diddy to spread the message.
"Those names were a red flag. As far as I'm concerned, most rap and hip-hop music - with its rape culture and insanely abusive lyrics and depictions of girls and women as "ho's" - is the contemporary soundtrack of misogyny."
Her statements caused controversy among rap fans and artists, but the actress insists her comments have been taken out of context, and she's adamant her only aim was to inspire rappers to use their positions as pop icons more carefully to encourage youngsters to show respect to all females.
In an interview with her close friend and fellow activist Simmons on his GlobalGrind.com blog, Judd says, "My intention was to support artists to know that they have so much power. That they make incredible life changing impressions, particularly on the young...
"What I'm being accused of is condemning rap and hip-hop as a whole... My intention was to take a stand to say the elements that are misogynistic and treat girls and women in a hyper-sexualized way are inappropriate. The male dominance that is displayed, and the reinforcement of girls' and women value and identify as primarily sexual, is not helpful in any artistic expression, in any cultural form, whether it's country music or in television story lines. And if they read more than one paragraph in the book, they would see that all four hundred pages are about that!"
And Judd admits it was a mistake to discuss her opinions of hip-hop and rape culture so closely together.
She continues, "I so regret that my indictment of rape culture as a whole has been, with that paragraph, interpreted as me blaming rap and hip-hop exclusively. That was absolutely not my intention, and I so regret it has had that effect on some people. That community is incredibly important to me and to the cause of social justice. It is filled with bad a-- and brave activists whom I admire, who work under duress fighting epic discrimination."
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