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Russell Simmons accuser is the subject of Apple TV+ and Oprah Winfrey’s Sundance doc

A still from the “Untitled Kirby Dick/Amy Ziering Film,” premiering at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.
A still from the “Untitled Kirby Dick/Amy Ziering Film,” premiering at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival.
(Sundance Institute)

Yesterday, AppleTV+ announced the acquisition of a documentary about a former music executive’s #MeToo journey.

Executive produced by Oprah Winfrey and directed by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, the logline simply notes the film follows “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. The film is a profound examination of race, gender, class and intersectionality, and the toll assaults take on their victims and society at large.”

Today it was announced that the documentary will debut at the Sundance Film Festival early next year, and while the official Sundance description is the same as Apple’s logline, the identity of the “former music executive” was confirmed.

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The film’s primary subject is Drew Dixon, who alleged multiple instances of misconduct initiated by Russell Simmons in a bombshell interview with the New York Times. The Def Jam Recordings co-founder served as Dixon’s direct supervisor during her executive run at the label. She quit Def Jam shortly after Simmons allegedly raped her in his apartment in 1995.

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Documentarians Dick and Ziering of Jane Doe Films previously scored an Oscar nomination for “The Invisible War,” another film exploring life after sexual assault, centering on rape survivors in the U.S. military. Their most recent effort, “The Bleeding Edge,” debuted last year on Netflix.

Apple did not respond to The Times’ request for comment.


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