Oprah backs off Sundance documentary weeks before premiere: Report

Film pulled from Apple TV+

Oprah Winfrey is distancing herself from a documentary about one of the women who accused Def Jam Recordings founder Russell Simmons of sexual misconduct just weeks before it was set to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

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Winfrey had been listed as executive producer for the film, “Untitled Kirby Dick/Amy Ziering Project,” which is scheduled to premiere at the festival on Jan. 25. She told the Reporter that the documentary will no longer air on Apple TV+ as had been planned, either.

Oprah Winfrey (Photo by Vera Anderson/WireImage)

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“First and foremost, I want it to be known that I unequivocally believe and support the women,” Winfrey told the Reporter. “Their stories deserve to be told and heard. In my opinion, there is more work to be done on the film to illuminate the full scope of what the victims endured, and it has become clear that the filmmakers and I are not aligned in that creative vision.”

Kirby and Ziering are best known for their Emmy-winning documentary “The Invisible War.” Winfrey, in her statement to the Reporter, called them “talented filmmakers,” but she said she felt the film was incomplete.

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According to Sundance’s synopsis, the new documentary follows music executive Drew Dixon, who produced hit records by artists including 2Pac, Method Man and Mary J. Blige, “as she grapples with her decision to become one of the first women of color to come forward as part of the #MeToo movement.”

Dixon was one of three women who accused Simmons of sexual misconduct in a 2017 New York Times article.

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