Oprah Winfrey caught tons of heat for attaching herself to a documentary that exposed Russell Simmons’ sexual misconduct.
Following her interview with the Leaving Neverland accusers, the public began accusing her of targeting Black sexual predators and ignoring the white ones like Harvey Weinstein.
The untitled documentary is scheduled to premiere during the Sundance Film Festival and tells the story of a former music executive who was sexually abused by a powerful figure in the music industry. This figure is allegedly Simmons, and Winfrey was supposed to serve as the executive producer and distribute the doc on AppleTV+.
Winfrey claims she decided to walk away because her “creative vision” isn’t aligned with the filmmakers’. “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+. 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. 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. I will be working with Time’s Up to support the victims and those impacted by abuse and sexual harassment.”
50 Cent responded to reports of Oprah stepping down from the documentary. “Alright,alright,alright Oprah we love you, thank you for responding and if you ever need me for anything I’m here.”
There’s no telling if the public backlash motivated her exit, but this is certainly good news for Simmons who publicly expressed his disappointment in his “friend” Oprah Winfrey participating in the project.