Oprah Winfrey has dropped executive producer title from her planned Russell Simmons #MeToo documentary.
What We Know:
- According to a report from People, the documentary focuses on a former music executive who has accused Simmons of sexual misconduct; the film no longer will air on Apple TV+. Despite this, Simmons has denied the allegations of sexual misconduct against him.
- Oprah said this in a statement obtained by People, “I have decided that I will no longer be an executive producer on The Untitled Kirby Dick and Ziering Documentary and it will not air on Apple TV+.” Furthermore, Winfrey continues to discuss her dismissal, addressing that she believes the film is incomplete. She explained that she’d rather present the film in its full scope.
- Filmmakers Dick and Ziering said, “Revealing hard truths is never easy, and the women in our documentary are all showing extraordinary strength and courage by raising their voices to address sexual abuse in the music industry. While we are disappointed that Oprah Winfrey is no longer an Executive Producer on the project, we are gratified that Winfrey has unequivocally said she believes and supports the survivors in the film.”
- Winfrey has received backlash before from a previous film, the HBO Leaving Neverland documentary. The film follows James Safechuck and Wade Robson’s recount of the alleged sexual abuse performed by music legend Michael Jackson. In the recounts, they detailed that they were little boys when the encounter occurred. Moreover, viewers stood firm in their belief that the two victims were not telling the truth of the situation. They went on to call the two extortionists.
- Subsequently, Simmons posted his feeling toward the film on social media. In response, Simmons expressed that he has taken a lie detector. The lie detector test is proof of his innocence in favor of his daughters.
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Dearest OPRAH,you have been a shining light to my family and my community. Contributing so much to my life that I couldn’t list a fraction of it in this blog.Ihave given you the gift of meditation and the groundbreaking book”THE POWER OF NOW “we bonded to say the least. This is why it’s so troubling that you choose me to single out in your recent documentry. I have already admitted to being a playboy more (appropriately titled today “womanizer”) sleeping with and putting myself in more compromising situations than almost any man I know. Not 8 or 14 thousand like Warren Beatty or Wilt Chamberlain, but still an embarrassing number. So many that some could reinterpret or reimagine a different recollection of the same experiences. Please note that ur producers said that this upcoming doc was to focus ONLY on 3 hand chosen women. I have refused to get in the mud with any accusers, but let’s acknowledge what i have shared. I have taken and passed nine 3-hour lie detector tests (taken for my daughters), that these stories have been passed on by CNN, NBC, BUZZFEED, NY POST, NY MAG, AND OTHERS. Now that you have reviewed the facts and you SHOULD have learned what I know; that these stories are UNUSABLE and that “hurt people hurt people”. Today I received a call from an old girlfriend from the early 1980s which means that they are using my words/evidence against me and their COMMITMENT/ (all of the claims are 25 to 40 years old) It is impossible to prove what happened 40 years ago, but in my case proof exists of what didn’t happen, mostly signed letters from their own parents, siblings, roommates, band members, interns, and in the case of 2 of your 3 accusers,their own words in their books. Shocking how many people have misused this important powerful revolution for relevance and money. … In closing, I am guilty of exploiting, supporting, and making the soundtrack for a grossly unequal society, but i have never been violent or forced myself on anyone. Still I am here to help support a necessary shift in power and consciousness. Let us get to work on uplifting humanity and put this moment and old narrative behind us
The film has received “full support” from TIME’S UP Foundation.