The film focuses on Drew Dixon, who was among the early group of women who accused Simmons of sexual misconduct. Dixon, who worked as an executive at Def Jam Recordings under founder Simmons in the 1990s, claimed in a 2017 New York Times article that Simmons raped her in his apartment.
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Simmons has consistently denied the accusations from Dixon and other accusers.
Meanwhile, the still-unnamed documentary’s filmmakers issued a statement responding to Winfrey's news.
"Revealing hard truths is never easy, and the women in our documentary are all showing extraordinary strength and courage by raising their voices to address sexual abuse in the music industry," they said.
"While we are disappointed that Oprah Winfrey is no longer an Executive Producer on the project, we are gratified that Winfrey has unequivocally said she believes and supports the survivors of the film,” he went on. “The #MeToo experiences of Black women deserve to be heard, especially against powerful men, so we will continue with our plans to bring the film to The Sundance Film Festival. The film, more than two years in the making, will be our eighth film to premiere at Sundance. The film is a beacon of hope for voices that have long been suppressed, and an inspiration for anyone wanting to regain their power power."
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Simmons has not publicly responded to Winfrey’s backing out of the documentary, but he previously took issue with her involvement. He said in part that it was “so troubling that you choose me to single out in your recent documentry.”
“I have refused to get in the mud with any accusers, but let's acknowledge what i have shared,” he said on Instagram in December. “I have taken and passed nine 3-hour lie detector tests (taken for my daughters), that these stories have been passed on by CNN, NBC, BUZZFEED, NY POST, NY MAG, AND OTHERS. Now that you have reviewed the facts and you SHOULD have learned what I know; that these stories are UNUSABLE and that 'hurt people hurt people'."