Oprah Winfrey recently backed out of a #MeToo project involving the Russell Simmons accusers, and multiple reports have indicated that the women involved in the documentary, as well as the documentarians themselves, were floored by the news.
During a chat with the hosts of CBS This Morning today, USA Today reported, Oprah Winfrey dished on the pressure she faced from Russell. However, she wanted to emphasize that the fact she backed out of it wasn’t a “victory” for the Def Jam Recordings co-founder.
Oprah claimed it wasn’t a win for Mr. Simmons at all, and she emphasized that point repeatedly. Moreover, Winfrey laughed at the idea of Russell Simmons being able to intimidate her. Winfrey claimed she has gone through too much at this point.
As it was previously reported, Russell Simmons has been accused of sexual misconduct by over a dozen women, a few of which accused him of rape. As for why Winfrey backed out of the documentary at such a crucial time, the media mogul claimed she wanted to make sure the story was right.
NEW: Oprah on her decision to withdraw from a documentary involving Russell Simmons. “This is not a victory lap for him. I cannot be silenced by Russell Simmons after all I've been through.” https://t.co/6O9SuoPyG3 pic.twitter.com/36w4DBDIL9
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) January 21, 2020
“I wanted more women brought into the story,” Winfrey added, after explaining that there were some “inconsistencies” in the stories brought forth by the women involved.
This past Friday, Winfrey spoke with reporters from The Associated Press and claimed the documentarians didn’t want to delay the film’s release and also wanted it screened at Sundance Film Festival. Impact Partners, the film’s producers, stated earlier this year in their statement that the film was ready, however, Oprah disagrees.
Even though Winfrey made it clear she was backing out of the project, she wants the world to know that she still stands behind the accusers, believing their stories need to be heard. In 2019, Russell Simmons and 50 Cent, née Curtis Jackson, both slammed Oprah in social media posts related to the documentary.
50 Cent, in particular, accused Oprah of unfairly going after black men rather than white men. He asked why she wouldn’t go after Weinstein or Jeffrey Epstein instead.