(AllHipHop News) A controversial documentary centering around sexual assault allegations against Russell Simmons debuted at the Sundance Film Festival this weekend.
“On the Record” was originally backed by Oprah Winfrey, but she dropped out of participating over concerns about the credibility of some of the women in the film.
The documentary focuses on rape allegations made by Drew Dixon, Sil Lai Abrams, and Alexia Norton Jones.
Very emotional at premiere of "On the Record" as Sheri Hines, @deardrewdixon and @Sil_Lai get a standing ovation. #Sundance pic.twitter.com/90Nvi80MhC
— Amy Kaufman (@AmyKinLA) January 26, 2020
According to The Hollywood Reporter, “On The Record” received multiple standing ovations during its premiere at The Marc over the weekend.
To make matters worse for Simmons, over three dozen organizations supported a letter this weekend backing the victims, endorsed with signatures from actresses like Thandie Newton, Gina Belafonte, Rosanna Arquette, and others.
Russell Simmons, 62, has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing with the women and claimed all sexual relationships were consensual
While the documentary may have been well received at some dances audiences, it’s unknown if the greater public will ever see “On the Record.”
Oprah Winfrey was originally attached to “On the Record” as part of a deal with Apple TV Plus, but she dropped out on January 10th, claiming there were “inconsistencies” with the women’s stories.
In addition to losing Oprah as an executive producer, the documentary also lost its distribution with Apple TV Plus.
Russell Simmons has adamantly denied the claims, and he even wrote a letter to Oprah Winfrey, just before she decided to back out.
“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.”
Drew Dixon responds to the pre-premiere discussion around On the Record following its #Sundance debut. pic.twitter.com/rDYR5GzYtb
— The Film Stage 📽 (@TheFilmStage) January 26, 2020