Oprah Winfrey Departs From A #MeToo Documentary On Russell Simmons
Oprah Winfrey is no longer going to be a part of a documentary that centers allegations by former music executive on Russell Simmons. The sexual misconduct accusation gathered strong support from the #MeToo Movement and is all set to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January. Up until now, Oprah served as an executive producer of the documentary, and also planned to release it on Apple TV+ after the premiere.
Oprah Winfrey Decides To Stay Away From The Allegations
The Hollywood Reporter writes about the recent decision by Oprah Winfrey. She also highlighted her stance to continue to support and believe the victims. She then added:
“Their stories deserve to be told and heard. In my opinion, there is more work to be done on the film to illuminate the full scope of what the victims endured, and it has become clear that the filmmakers and I are not aligned in that creative vision.”
The untitled documentary is from creators Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering. Winfrey strongly believes that the documentary is incomplete and not ready for release at the film festival. She continues, “I feel it’s best to step aside”, as a result of this. She also added that she will continue to work with Time’s Up to support the victims and those that survived abuse from Russell Simmons.
At first, Apple decided to hide the name of the accuser and the alleged harasser. A part of the description of the documentary was:
“A brilliant former music executive who grapples with whether to go public with her story of assault and abuse by a notable figure in the music industry.”
The official Sundance description revealed both the accuser, Drew Dixon, and the alleged harasser, Russell Simmons. Dixon claims that Simmons raped her in his apartment in 1995, after which she left working for his company, Def Jam Recordings.
On The Other Hand…
The news about Winfrey’s departure surely disappointed the creators. However, they also believe in raising the voice for black women over their #MeToo stories.
“…especially against powerful men, so we will continue with our plans to bring the film to The Sundance Film Festival. The film, more than two years in the making, will be our eighth film to premiere at Sundance. “
Till now, Russell Simmons has denied all allegations, calling them horrific and claiming that they shocked him to his core.