Running Russell Simmons

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Running Russell Simmons TV Poster Image
Some mixed messages about women in behind-the-scenes show.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series highlights the amount of work Russell Simmons’ female assistants do in order to help him keep his businesses going. It also sends mixed messages about the role of professional women in the workplace.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The women featured here are loyal to Simmons and do everything they can to help keep his life running smoothly. Simmons' behavior occasionally seems innapropriate.

Violence

Reyes is a vegan and active animal rights activist and is featured in photo shoots and protests wearing fake blood.

Sex

Contains some strong sexual innuendo. Simmons behaves like a womanizer around models. References are made to Playboy centerfolds. Male and female models are shown partially dressed and in underwear; occasionally images of partially nude buttocks are slightly visible on artwork and photographs on the walls.  

Language

Words like “hell,” “bitch,” and “ass” are audible, while curses like “f--k” and “s--t” are bleeped.

Consumerism

The logos for Russell’s many business ventures under the umbrella of RUSH Communications are visible. Companies like Victoria’s Secret are frequently discussed. Apple computers are visible. Celebs like Tyson Beckford make appearances, while others like Donald Trump and Oprah are frequently audible on the phone or referenced.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Champagne, wine, and cocktail consumption is visible at social functions.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this reality series featuring some of the women working behind the scenes with music producer and entrepreneur Russell Simmons contains lots of strong sexual innuendo and salty language (“bitch,” “ass”; “f--k,” “s--t” are bleeped). Logos for Simmons’ numerous companies are visible. Alcohol (wine, champagne, cocktails) appear at social events. The show features strong professional women, but it also sends mixed messages about the power of women in the workplace.

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What's the story?

RUNNING RUSSELL SIMMONS introduces viewers to the women who help hip hop mogul and entrepreneur Russell Simmons run Rush Communications, the parent company for his numerous business ventures and charitable endeavors. It features Simmons’ executive assistants Simone Reyes and Christina Puljasaj helping him with his executive decisions while managing his professional and personal schedule. They bring on interns Ali and Sagen to help them with their work and to compete for a permanent position. Meanwhile notable professionals like Adair Curtis, Trisha Stone, and Piper McCoy also help him run different branches of his company.

Is it any good?

The show, which is produced by Simone Reyes, mixes orchestrated scenes of Simmons doing yoga, discussing philanthropic endeavors, and flirting with models with scenes of Simone and Christina running around and stressing over the details to make it all happen. The assistants also find themselves struggling with the interns, who seem more interested in having fun and acting inappropriately with celebrities than being helpful.
 
It’s interesting, but the overall show sends some conflicting messages. While most of the women featured appear successful, empowered, and in the center of an A-list world, much of what the executive assistants do is no different than the job of a glorified secretary who makes everything happen while her boss gets all the credit. Simmons’ womanizing ways don’t send a great message either. But it does offer a fair look at the amount of behind-the-scenes work it takes to make any major business successful.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the changing role of women in the workplace. Did you know that years ago women were only allowed to be teachers or secretaries, and had to quit their job when they got married? How have things changed over the years? 

  • Do you think that the executive assistants featured here are powerful women? Or do they just happen to be working for a powerful man? 

  • How realistic do you think this behind-the-scenes portrayal is?

TV details

For kids who love reality television

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