Oprah Backs Out Of #MeToo Docu On Women Who Accused Russell Simmons Of Sexual Assault & Harassment + Russell Simmons & 50 Cent React
She released a statement, according to the L.A. Times, and said while she believes the women, she will no longer serve as the executive producer of the project.
“First and foremost, I want it to be known that I unequivocally believe and support the women. 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.”
She explained that she’s parting ways with the project because the filmmakers are determined to debut it at Sundance Film Festival before it’s truly finished. The film is scheduled to be featured at the Sundance on Jan. 25, but it will not be streamed on Apple+ TV because of Oprah Winfrey’s departure. That partnership was established via the media mogul’s Harpo Productions.
“Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering are talented filmmakers. I have great respect for their mission but given the filmmakers’ desire to premiere the film at the Sundance Film Festival before I believe it is complete, I feel it’s best to step aside.”
Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering responded to Oprah Winfrey’s announcement.
They said they were “disappointed” but also
“gratified that Winfrey has unequivocally said she believes and supports the survivors in the film.”
“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. The film is a beacon of hope for voices that have long been suppressed, and an inspiration for anyone wanting to regain their personal power.”
Meanwhile, Russell Simmons has spoken out about Oprah Winfrey’s departure. He reshared his post of his initial reaction to news of Winfrey’s involvement in the documentary.
“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. Your doc is focused 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, i have even been unconsciously callous , 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 Love you”
50 Cent, who spoke out against Winfrey, stating that she only goes after Black men, shared his thoughts.
What do you think about Oprah Winfrey stepping down? Tell us in the comments!