About a week after giving up her role as executive producer of the upcoming Russell Simmons #MeToo documentary, On The Record, Oprah is speaking out about her association with the project.
In an interview with The New York Times, Oprah revealed that Russell Simmons tried to contact her multiple times and “attempted to pressure me.” In response to Simmons, Oprah “told him directly on the phone call that I would 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”
When Winfrey announced that she would be the executive producer of the documentary, she was met with backlash, specifically from 50 Cent and The Game, who believed she was targeting black men in the entertainment industry accused of sexual assault/misconduct while ignoring white men with similar accusations.
On January 10th, Winfrey announced that she was no longer serving as an executive producer for the documentary. She stated that she and the directors were “not aligned” in their “creative vision.” Oprah’s long-time friend, Gayle King, came out to defend Winfrey, saying that she was not “muzzled” into leaving the documentary.
On The Record is set to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 25.