Reactions To Trailer For Upcoming Documentary Featuring Russell Simmons’s Accusers
The long-awaited reveal of the documentary involving Russell Simmons’s accusers is finally here. After months of controversy – including backlash against Oprah Winfrey for lending her name to the project and then removing her participation due to creative differences – HBO Max has released an almost three-minute trailer for the release of the documentary for next month.
What does the trailer for ‘On The Record’ show?
The documentary was initially debuted at Sundance this past February following Winfrey’s decision to back out and its original streaming service pulling out along with the media maven. HBO Max picked it up and promised to deliver the story sometime this year for the women’s stories to be heard.
The trailer for the documentary is centered around Drew Dixon, former A&R of Def Jam Records. Dixon worked under Simmons and played a role in the release of music for artists like Mary J. Blige, The Notorious B.I.G. and 2Pac. She looked to Simmons as a mentor but alleges that he violently raped her at his home in 1995.
Dixon became the first woman to speak out against Simmons, and the documentary shows the emotional aftermath of her going public. The film shows that there were other women who became aware of Dixon’s story and refused to speak out unless Dixon did.
Social media users react to ‘On The Record’ trailer
The general consensus online since the trailer was released is one of support. For many, the documentary represents another opportunity for sexual assault victims, specifically women of color, to share their stories. many feel Black women, in particular, are silenced or afraid to come forward for fear of not being believed.
“So, EYE am tired. TIRED. But I hope #OnTheRecord will change the tide. Forget creative differences or whether this documentary is ready.,” one wrote. “Folks will come up w/ any excuse but I just want Black women and girls to be believed.”
“I hope this addition to the canon of Black women trying to get folks to give a damn about our well being is a turning point in our society #OnTheRecord,” another chimed in.
One user noted a specific quote from Dixon in regards to why she was hesitant to come forward as the most compelling part of the trailer.
Others were thankful that despite the early controversy surrounding the documentary, it still found a home with HBO Max.
“THANK YOU @hbomax for presenting this urgently needed documentary on your platform,” added another.
“I’m definitely tuning in to #OnTheRecord,” one promised.
Russell Simmons has denied any wrongdoing
After more women came forward accusing Simmons of sexual assault, he released statements to insist that he was innocent. In 2017, he responded to writer Janet Lumet’s allegation that he assaulted her in her apartment in 1991.
“While her memory of that evening is very different from mine, it is now clear to me that her feelings of fear and intimidation are real,” the statement read in part. “While I have never been violent, I have been thoughtless and insensitive in some of my relationships over many decades and I sincerely and humbly apologize.”
Simmons’s response to all of the allegations have been similar: he has admitted to having relationships with the women but insists that they were consensual. He’s also noted that he partook in a bachelor and womanizing lifestyle, which he says he now regrets.
In response to the documentary, he is adamantly against it. Most of his anger about the documentary was initially targeted to Winfrey before she removed her involvement.
Simmons says he’s taken and passed several lie detector tests to prove his innocence and has spoken out on his support for the #MeToo movement.
The documentary is set to air May 27 as part of HBO Max’s official launch. As of now, there have not been any current charges brought against Simmons.