Russell Simmons has a bone to pick with the Associated Press, and it has to do with their use of one phrase—“child prostitution.”
The business magnate is using his financial and celebrity influence to push for the news agency to stop using the particular phrase in their articles. Simmons shared a post on his Twitter page, addressed to the Associated Press, with the following message: There’s #NoSuchThing as a ‘child prostitute.’ They are victims + survivors of rape.”
The tweet, which originated from the Twitter handle for the national organization called the Human Rights Project for Girls, also includes a link to a Change.org petition submitted with attention to the Editor of the Associated Press. The petition slams the media for mislabeling young women who are forced into the sex trade by using the term “child prostitute” or “underage prostitution.” The page implores with the Associated Press in particular to not only stop using these types of terms, but to also “take a stand” against them.
The petition has gotten almost 22,000 signatures so far. Russell Simmons isn’t the only celebrity tweeting about it. The same post has been shared by A-list actor Ashton Kutcher, reality star Cynthia Bailey, rapper Trina, actor Omar Epps, and businessman Michael Skolnik. Simmons even retweeted some of his famous friends’ posts about the petition.
Russell Simmons often uses his Twitter feed as a tool to influence change. When he’s not posting inspirational quotes and messages, he’s sharing stories about racial equality, democracy, politics, and various other impactful issues.