The documentary accusing Russell Simmons of sexual assault was surprisingly well-received at Sundance.
One of the pioneers of hip-hop, the co-founder of Def Jam Records has had allegations of sexual assault from multiple women looming over him for the past three years. It was reported that Simmons stepped down from his positions at all of his businesses and relocated to Indonesia to take refuge from the scrutiny he was facing. Since then, an entire documentary detailing Simmons' alleged sexual advances, actions, and misconduct has been produced and premiered at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival this past weekend.
Steven Senne-Pool/Getty Images
The documentary entitled, On The Record, features in-depth interviews from multiple accusers revealing their troubling experiences with the hip-hop mogul. The doc focuses on one of Russell Simmons' accusers in Drew Dixon who claims that he had forcibly assaulted her while working for him as an A&R during the '90s. Dixon also discussed her disappointment with Oprah after she withdrew from participating in the documentary. In an exclusive interview with USA Today, Dix revealed:
"The past 15 days have been traumatic. Definitely lots of extra therapy sessions. Lots of anxiety."
Despite Oprah and AppleTV+'s withdrawal from participating in the production of the documentary, the film received not one but two standing ovations from people in attendance at the Sundance Festival screening of the movie. While reviews of On The Record, have been described as compellingly uncomfortable and infuriating, the film was well-received during all of its showings.
Last year, the Oprah-produced Leaving Neverland, premiered at the festival and received high praise from critics until the doc was debunked as fictitious following some basic research.
As of right now, there isn't a network providing the documentary with a platform for those wishing to watch On The Record. But if it continues to receive positive reviews during its private showings, eventually the doc will make its way to a viable network.
Russell Simmons has denied all allegations made against him in regards to the documentary and those accusing him of sexual assault.