Despite the fact Oprah Winfrey backed down from her executive producer position of On The Record, the documentary exploring the allegations of misconduct against Russell Simmons, the co-founder of Def Jam Recordings, the film still received a standing ovation, Billboard reported.
Reportedly, on the 25th of June, the screening of the documentary regarding Russell Simmons, in which a few different women detailed their stories involving the disgraced entertainment industry mogul, led to audience members getting out of their chairs clapping twice.
While at the premiere, Amy Ziering, who was the co-director, claimed she and the rest of her team were super “proud” to be there. She also went on to thank the Sundance Film Festival for “standing strong and never blinking.”
Initially, it was unclear if the movie would even be released following the news that Oprah Winfrey rescinded her support from the film because she thought it did an inadequate job of depicting what happened to the accusers. Moreover, she thought the film was incomplete.
When Oprah announced she was leaving, both Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering were shocked. They ever even knew she felt that way about the documentary, and actually thought she was extremely supportive right from the beginning.
Later, Apple TV Plus pulled their distribution deal due to its connection with Oprah. However, Sundance continued to support the movie. Followers of the Simmons case know that many women accused Russell Simmons of sexual assault and harassment, including Sherri Hines and Sil-Lai Abrams.
Simmons has since moved to Bali supposedly to avoid being extradited to the United States. The movie also purports to describe the way in which women of color often refuse to come out with their stories because they don’t want to come across as traitors to their ethnic group.
Earlier this week, one of the accusers in the film came out to describe her experiences in the aftermath of Oprah Winfrey’s rescinded support of the documentary. It came not long after Oprah’s appearence on Gayle King’s show, CBS This Morning, in which she explained why she chose to back away from the film.