Russell Simmons Accusers Speak Out in Trailer for HBO Max Documentary ‘On The Record’

LOS ANGELES - JUN 11: entrepreneur Russell Simmons at the 15th Annual Chrysalis Butterfly Ball at the Private Residence on June 11, 2016 in Brentwood, CA — Photo by s_bukley

HBO Max set its official launch date Tuesday, and with the announcement the streaming platform released the first trailers for its HBO Max Originals.

When the WarnerMedia-owned streamer goes live on May 27, viewers will be able to watch #MeToo documentary On the Record about sexual abuse allegations against music mogul Russell Simmons. The documentary from co-directors Amy Ziering and Kirby Dick made its world premiere in January at the Sundance Film Festival to rave reviews.

The film focuses on Drew Dixon, a former music exec who worked for Simmons at Def Jam Records, and accused him of raping her in 1995. Multiple other women have since accused the hip-hop mogul of sexual abuse, however, Simmons has denied all allegations of nonconsensual sex.

Related Story: Russell Simmons Sex Abuse Documentary The Talk of Sundance

The documentary was initially slated for Apple TV+ as part of Oprah Winfrey’s production deal with the company, but its release fell through when the media mogul exited the project.

In a Jan. 21 interview with CBS This Morning, Winfrey said Simmons contacted her multiple times and “attempted to pressure” her to abandon the doc. She said she ultimately took her name off the film because she was troubled by “inconsistencies,” and felt it needed more work before its Sundance debut.

Winfrey’s exit opened the door for HBO Max to secure the rights to the doc.

Other titles that will be available day one on HBO Max include the scripted comedy Love Life, starring Anna Kendrick; underground ballroom dance competition series Legendary; Craftopia with YouTube sensation LaurDIY; the all-new Looney Tunes Cartoons; and Sesame Workshop’s The Not Too Late Show with Elmo.

HBO Max will officially launch on May 27, 2020. Full details on the platform’s opening slate can be found below.

Craftopia is an epic kids crafting competition show hosted and executive produced by YouTube influencer Lauren Riihimaki aka (LaurDIY). Creating and demonstrating crafts to over 8.9 million subscribers on her YouTube channel, LaurDIY has been deemed the “millennial Martha Stewart” by Forbes. On Craftopia, 9 to 15-year old contestants put their imaginations to the test and make their crafting dreams come true in a magical studio. After racing to fill up their carts with inspiring materials from the studio “store,” crafters meet larger-than-life challenges, making truly inventive and amazing creations in order to take home the ‘Craftrophia.’ Craftopia is executive produced by Rhett Bachner and Brien Meagher for B17 Entertainment.

Pulling directly from the underground ballroom community, voguing teams (aka “houses”) must compete in unbelievable balls and showcase sickening fashion in order to achieve “legendary” status. The cast includes MC Dashaun Wesley and DJ MikeQ as well as celebrity judges Law Roach, Jameela Jamil, Leiomy Maldonado, and Megan Thee Stallion. From Scout Productions, Emmy Award ® winners David Collins (Queer Eye), Rob Eric (Queer Eye) and Michael Williams (Queer Eye) serve as executive producers. Jane Mun (People’s Choice Awards, MTV Music Awards, America’s Best Dance Crew) and Josh Greenberg (Lip Sync Battle, Sunday Best, America’s Best Dance Crew) serve as executive producers and showrunners.

Love Life, the first full-length scripted series to star Oscar® nominee Anna Kendrick, is about the journey from first love to last love, and how the people we’re with along the way make us into who we are when we finally end up with someone forever. This fresh take on a romantic comedy anthology series is from creator and co-showrunner Sam Boyd (In a Relationship) and is produced by Lionsgate Television and Feigco Entertainment. The series will follow a different protagonist’s quest for love each season, with each half-hour episode telling the story of one of their relationships. Anna Kendrick (Pitch Perfect, A Simple Favor) stars in the first season along with Zoë Chao (Downhill, Strangers), Peter Vack (Someone Great, The Bold Type), Sasha Compere (Miracle Workers, Uncorked), and Lesley Manville (Phantom Thread, Another Year). Kendrick serves as an executive producer alongside Paul Feig (A Simple Favor, Bridesmaids) and Dan Magnante (Someone Great). Sam Boyd, who wrote the pilot and directs, also executive produces with co-showrunner and executive producer Bridget Bedard (Transparent and Ramy).

Looney Tunes Cartoons, an all-new series from Warner Bros. Animation starring the cherished Looney Tunes characters. Looney Tunes Cartoons echoes the high production value and process of the original Looney Tunes theatrical shorts with a cartoonist-driven approach to storytelling. Marquee Looney Tunes characters will be featured in their classic pairings in simple, gag-driven and visually vibrant stories. The new series will include 80 eleven-minute episodes, each comprised of animated shorts that vary in length and include adapted storylines for today’s audience. Fans can also look forward to holiday-themed specials. Looney Tunes Cartoons is produced by Warner Bros. Animation and features a talented group of voice cast members including Eric Bauza, Jeff Bergman and Bob Bergen. Pete Browngardt (Uncle Grandpa) and Sam Register (Teen Titans Go!) serve as executive producers.

Elmo is the host of his very own talk show and he’s going to bring you some (not-too-late) fun with an all-new, celeb-studded talk show series. This brand-new “primetime” series brings familiar Sesame Street friends like Elmo, Cookie Monster, celebrity guests, and laughs the whole family can enjoy! Elmo will interview guests such as fellow late-night hosts Jimmy Fallon and John Oliver, comedian John Mullaney, New York Times best-selling author Kwame Alexander, actress Blake Lively, and award-winning musical acts Lil Nas X and The Jonas Brothers. The Not Too Late Show with Elmo is produced by Sesame Workshop.

Directed and produced by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, On The Record presents the powerful haunting story of music executive Drew Dixon (collaborator on hit records by Method Man and Mary J. Blige, Estelle and Kanye West, and Whitney Houston) as she grapples with her decision to become one of the first women of color, in the wake of #MeToo, to come forward and publicly accuse hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons of sexual assault.