Billionaire TV mogul Oprah Winfrey is going to play a major role at the Sundance Film Festival for the second consecutive year, particularly as it pertains to sexual assault.
Winfrey is the executive producer of a yet-to-be-titled documentary that tells the story of Drew Dixon, the woman who accused Russell Simmons of rape. The film is scheduled to premiere at Sundance in suburban Salt Lake City in January 2020.
Last year, as rolling out reported, Winfrey hosted Michael Jackson’s sexual assault accusers for a panel discussion on OWN, her television network, not long after Sundance debuted the devastating docuseries Leaving Neverland, which also aired on HBO.
The Los Angeles Times first reported that the upcoming documentary on Simmons is about “a brilliant former music executive who grapples with whether to go public with her story of assault and abuse by a notable figure in the music industry.”
As many pop culture fans recall, Dixon first revealed that she allegedly was raped by Simmons in an interview with The New York Times in 2017. She said the alleged rape took place inside his Manhattan apartment back in 1995.
The Kirby Dick- and Amy Ziering-directed film will be on Apple TV after its Sundance premiere. The Times reports it will be as an “examination of race, gender, class and intersectionality, and the toll assaults take on their victims and society at large.”
Dixon is one of 17 women who have accused Simmons of various forms of sexual assault. While the other women will be mentioned, Dixon will be the focus of the documentary.
L.A. Reid will also be a focus of the documentary, the Times reports. The legendary music producer, best known for iconic hitmaking partnership with Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, also is accused of sexually harassing Dixon once she left Def Jam and joined Reid.
Simmons has always maintained his innocence.
Winfrey has come under fire on two fronts recently. She was photographed kissing notorious former movie producer Harvey Weinstein before he was accused of sexually assaulting dozens of actresses but has yet to speak out against Weinstein.
She also took grief for hosting Michael Jackson’s accusers after last year’s Sundance Film Festival debut of Leaving Neverland but not targeting any of the other hundreds of men in Hollywood accused of rape and sexual assault.