Oprah Backs Out of #MeToo Documentary About Russell Simmons Accuser: Report

Oprah Winfrey is reportedly stepping down as executive producer of an upcoming documentary that centers around the #MeToo movement and one of the women who accused Russell Simmons of sexual misconduct.

On Friday (Jan. 10), the billionaire media mogul announced she’d made the decision to back out of her position with the project to The Hollywood Reporter.

“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 in a statement. “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.”

She added, “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.”

Simmons, who has been hit with nearly 20 sexual misconduct allegations in the past couple years, has maintained his innocence. Following the announcement of Oprah’s involvement in the documentary in December, the Def Jam co-founder posted an open letter to Winfrey on Instagram questioning her motives.

“Dearest OPRAH, you have been a shining light to my family and my community. Contributing so much to my life that I couldn’t list a fraction of it in this blog. I have given you the gift of meditation and the groundbreaking book ‘THE POWER OF NOW’ we bonded to say the least. This is why it’s so troubling that you choose me to single out in your recent documentary,” he wrote in part.

The documentary is slated to premiere later this month at the Sundance Film Festival.

— XXL MAG