Oh! Oprah Winfrey Says Sundance Doc Withdrawal is ‘Not a Victory for Russell Simmons

Photo Credit: Anthony Harvey / Stringer/Getty

During an interview on ‘CBS This Morning’ Oprah Winfrey revealed why she decided to step down from the upcoming film about sexual assault in the music industry, featuring “women who accused Dej Jam founder Russell Simmons of sexual misconduct.”

The media mogul went on to say that she understood what it feels like to be believed as a victim of sexual assault herself. However, there were some inconsistencies in the film.

“The only question for me is what is the right thing to do,” Winfrey said, explaining that before she was publicly pressured by Simmons and others to drop the doc, she went to the filmmakers and said they had a “problem” because of new information that had come forward and argued that they should pull the doc from Sundance or she’d have to take her name off of it.


“I just care about getting it right. I think there are some inconsistencies in the stories that we need to look at.”

Winfrey removed her name from the documentary 11 days before the world premiere on January, 25. In a statement she says:

“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.”

And although she was pressured by Simmons to step down, she says, “This is not a victory for Russell.… I did not pull out because of Russell.… I cannot be silenced by Russell Simmons after all I’ve been through.”

See the clips below: