After signing on as a producer for a documentary about recent sexual assault allegations against Russell Simmons, Oprah Winfrey has stepped away from the project. In a recent statement, the OWN boss said she had a different vision for the doc than directors Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering did.
“I have decided that I will no longer be executive producer on “The Untitled Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering Documentary” and it will not air on Apple TV+,” the TV mogul said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter.
“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.”
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Winfrey added that she wasn’t on board with the idea of the documentary airing at the Sundance Film Festival.
“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. I will be working with Time’s Up to support the victims and those impacted by abuse and sexual harassment.”
The documentary, slated to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in February 2020, follows former Def Jam Recordings executive Drew Dixon who accused Simmons of raping her in 1995. The film follows Dixon as she “grapples with whether to go public with her story of assault and abuse by a notable figure in the music industry. The film is a profound examination of race, gender, class and intersectionality, and the toll assaults take on their victims and society at large.”
No word on when it will be available on Apple TV+.