Oprah Winfrey is executive producing a #MeToo documentary for Apple TV+ on sexual abuse in the music industry.
Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering are directing the film, which follows “a brilliant former music executive who grapples with whether to go public with her story of assault and abuse by a notable figure in the music industry.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, the former music exec is Drew Dixon, who worked for Russell Simmons at Def Jam Records. Dixon alleged in a New York Times interview that the hip-hop mogul raped her in 1995. Simmons denies the allegations.
The film is set to debut early next year at the Sundance Film Festival.
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News of the documentary prompted criticism from Simmons and 50 Cent, who posted statements on Instagram bashing Winfrey. 50 Cent accused the media mogul of “going after black men,” while Simmons called her participation with the film “troubling.”
“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,” Simmons began his post. “We bonded to say the least. This is why it’s so troubling that you choose me to single out in your recent documentary.”
“I have already admitted to being a playboy more (appropriately titled today “womanizer”) sleeping with and putting myself in more compromising situations than almost any man I know. Not 8 or 14 thousand like Warren Beatty or Wilt Chamberlain, but still an embarrassing number. Please note that ur producers said that this upcoming doc was to focus ONLY on 3 hand chosen women. I have refused to get in the mud with any accusers, but let’s acknowledge what i have shared. I have taken and passed nine 3-hour lie detector tests (taken for my daughters),” Simmons added.
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50 Cent asked why Winfrey isn’t targeting Harvey Weinstein or Jeffrey Epstein.
“I don’t understand why Oprah is going after black men,” he wrote on Instagram Thursday. “No Harvey Weinstein, No Epstein, just Michael Jackson and Russell Simmons, this shit is sad.”
The rapper, actor and producer also criticized Winfrey’s friend, CBS This Morning co-host Gayle King for her widely-praised interview with R. Kelly, although he appeared to confuse the interview with the Lifetime docuseries, Surviving R. Kelly.
“Gale hit R Kelly with the death blow documentary,” he said, before blasting Winfrey for interviewing Michael Jackson’s accusers, Wade Robson and James Safechuck, about allegations they made in the HBO documentary Leaving Neverland.
“Every time I hear Michael Jackson I don’t know whether to dance or think about the little boys butts,” 50 Cent wrote. “These documentaries are publicly convicting their targets, it makes them guilty till proven innocent.”