EXCLUSIVE: Documentary filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering have responded to the news this afternoon about Oprah Winfrey’s withdrawal as EP, and cancellation of AppleTV+ distribution on their upcoming untitled documentary about music executive Drew Dixon, who accused Russell Simmons of sexual misconduct. As we heard previously, the doc will still make its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on Jan. 25 in the Documentary Section as indicated by the fimmakers below.
Below is Dick and Ziering’s response, exclusive to Deadline:
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“Revealing hard truths is never easy, and the women in our documentary are all showing extraordinary strength and courage by raising their voices to address sexual abuse in the music industry. While we are disappointed that Oprah Winfrey is no longer an Executive Producer on the project, we are gratified that Winfrey has unequivocally said she believes and supports the survivors in the film.
The #MeToo experiences of Black women deserve to be heard, especially against powerful men, so we will continue with our plans to bring the film to The Sundance Film Festival. This film, more than two years in the making, will be our eighth film to premiere at Sundance.
The film is a beacon of hope for voices that have long been suppressed, and an inspiration for anyone wanting to regain their personal power.”
The documentary follows music exec Drew Dixon whose career and personal life were deeply affected by the abuse she faced from the men she admired in the industry she loves. The doc explores as she grapples with her decision to become one of the first women of color to come forward as part of the #MeToo movement. Dixon was the producer of hit records by 2Pac, Method Man, and Mary J. Blige.
Apple announced the doc back in early December. Dick and producer Ziering, are the team behind the Oscar-nominated college campus rape doc expose The Hunting Ground and 2012’s The Invisible War. The Hunting Ground earned an Oscar nomination for Diane Warren-Lady Gaga original song “Til It Happens to You”. The Invisible War broke the story of the epidemic of rape in the U.S. military, leading to five congressional hearings and the passing of 35 reforms through Congress.
Their most recent film, The Bleeding Edge, follows the fast-growing medical device industry’s corruption and malfeasance, which compelled industry giant Bayer to remove one harmful device from the market, and is catalyzing a worldwide debate about regulation and patient safety.
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