After Criticism Should Oprah Put #MeToo Documentary On Hold About Russell Simmons
A few days ago Russell Simmons took to Instagram and urged Oprah Winfrey to stop her upcoming AppleTV+ #MeToo documentary, which reportedly details allegations of sexual misconduct against the music mogul.
Simmons, denied the allegations and address Winfrey, in the instagram post;
“Dearest OPRAH,yolu 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.Ihave 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 documentry. 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. So many that some could reinterpret or reimagine a different recollection of the same experiences. 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), 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”.
Today I received a call from an old girlfriend from the early 1980s which means that they are using my words/evidence against me and their COMMITMENT/ (all of the claims are 25 to 40 years old) It is impossible to prove what happened 40 years ago, but in my case proof exists of what didn’t happen, mostly signed letters from their own parents, siblings, roommates, band members, interns, and in the case of 2 of your 3 accusers,their own words in their books. Shocking how many people have misused this important powerful revolution for relevance and money. Maybe you should name your documentary “FLAVOR OF LOVE”!? In closing, I am guilty of exploiting, supporting, and making the soundtrack for a grossly unequal society, but i have never been violent or forced myself on anyone. Still I am here to help support a necessary shift in power and consciousness. Let us get to work on uplifting humanity and put this moment and old narrative behind us”
Last week, Variety reported Winfrey’s Apple Plus documentary will focus on “a former music executive who grapples with whether to go public with her story of assault and abuse by a notable figure in the industry.”
Russell Simmons has been accused of rape by over a dozen women, with one unidentified woman filing a $10 million lawsuit in March of 2018. Fashion publicist Kelly Cutrone says Russell Simmons attempted to rape her in 1991 at his apartment after a party. She did not press charges at the time but spoke out in December of 2017.
The Los Angeles Times reported Winfrey’s documentary, which will premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, features Drew Dixon, who alleges Simmons raped her in 1995. Dixon is a former executive atDef Jam Recordings, which Simmons co-founded. She said the mogul regularly harassed her and exposed his erect penis to her and later that year raped her in his downtown Manhattan apartment.
50 Cent spoke out in defense of Russell on instagram, “I don’t understand why Oprah is going after black men. No Harvey Weinstein, No Epstein, just Micheal Jackson and Russell Simmons this shit is sad.” “These documentary’s are publicly convicting their targets, it makes them guilty till proven innocent.”
Oprah has also received criticism on twitter.
In my opinion their are some people in top level positions that use their power to abuse and take advantage of women. These acts need to be highlighted, exposed and taken seriously so changes can me made for a safe working environment.
My issue is without any clear cut evidence such as video, text messages, documents, or eye witnesses. It very difficult to point a person and say you are guilty or innocent. To make a documentary without clear evidence before a suspect goes to trial sets a dangerous precedent. Society will already paint this person as guilty and will be unable to receive a fair trail. The reason why I say this is because since the days of Jim Crow black people that have falsely accused of a crime, or wrongly profiled; the media or lynch mob deemed them guilty before the suspect has stepped foot in the court room. I know justice is not fair but should be. One of things black people have been fighting for is erasing negative stereo types and fairness in the court room. That will never come to be if documentaries paint a person guilty person their day in court. There is a difference between reporting allegations and making a full documentary about person without clear evidence.
Again I am for women’s rights and safe working environments. People who abuse their power should be brought to justice to the full extent of the law. I am just torn if a documentary should be released if the allegations are based on he say / she say. At the same time every women that has been a victim of sexual assault or harassment deserves a chance to tell their story
What are you thoughts? Vote below if you think Oprah should continue with the #MeToo documentary.