"He did reach out multiple times and attempted to pressure me," Oprah Winfrey said of Russell Simmons. But she said her decision to back out of the documentary about his accusers was based on creative disagreements. https://t.co/iQwptXA8BA— New York Times Arts (@nytimesarts) January 17, 2020
A follow-up to this post. Sit back because it's a MESS. And also, TRIGGER WARNING.
- Russell Simmons pressured Oprah to pull the plug.
- Simmons would tell Oprah, "Look what you're doing to my daughters." Oprah said she took offense that's she doing anything to his daughters.
- “I told him directly in a phone call that I will not be pressured either into, or out of, backing this film. I am only going to do what I believe to be the right thing," Oprah reportedly told him.
- Simmons and his supporters also targeted some of the women in the film, through social media and in one case, a family member.
- Simmons taught his supporters how to challenge the credibility of women by asking “how many times they went to jail, to a mental institution, have they accused five or more people, what does their father say.”
- Oprah said Simmons told her Drew Dixon, his accuser and who's the main focus of the documentary, is "lying about their interactions." Other people who she won't name called her saying they question Dixon's accounts, too.
- "Ms. Winfrey said that she still believed Ms. Dixon, though she also thought there were inconsistencies in her account that the film had not adequately addressed, in addition to other issues she had with the film. (The filmmakers say they have voluminous research files corroborating all the women’s accounts.)"
- Dixon says she feels abandoned after Oprah pulled out.
- “I feel like I’m experiencing a second crime,” Ms. Dixon said. “I am being silenced. The broader community is being intimidated. The most powerful black woman in the world is being intimidated.”
- Oprah was unsure about the film for a while. She sent the documentary to Ava DuVernay to get her critique of the film and advice. Ava gave a harsh critique which was included in the letter to the filmmakers.
- Before pulling out, the filmmakers retooled the film at Oprah's requests, such as doing additional interviews with experts on misogyny in hip-hop. When they sent her the final version, she was still unhappy with it. Thus, she pulled out.
SOURCE: 1 | 2