Oprah Winfrey has backed out as executive producer on an upcoming documentary about the #metoo movement. While the key figures involved in the Apple TV+ project have yet to be announced, it will feature former Def Jam employee Drew Dixon – who told The New York Times in 2017 that entrepreneur and record executive Russell Simmons raped her back in 1995.
Media mogul has been criticized for her involvement in the project, but in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter on Friday, she revealed she was withdrawing from the role as “it has become clear that the filmmakers and I are not aligned in that creative vision”.
“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+,” she said. “I want it to be known that I unequivocally believe and support the women. Their stories deserve to be told and heard.”
Oprah added: “In my opinion, there is more work to be done on the film to illuminate the full scope of what the victims endured.”
Elaborating on her conflict with the filmmakers, the former daytime talk show host explained: “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. I will be working with Time’s Up to support the victims and those impacted by abuse and sexual harassment.”
Russell has denied Dixon’s allegations and publicly urged the star to back away from the project, sharing an impassioned plea on his Instagram page.