Oprah claims she was pressured by Russell Simmons to back out of the #MeToo-like docu-series she was set to executive produce which showcases alleged sexual abuse claims against the former Def Jam executive.
Via the New York Times, Oprah states, “He did reach out multiple times and attempted to pressure me.”
A spokesperson for Oprah, however, states that Oprah withdrew from the docu-series because of reported inconsistencies in the story coming from one of the accusers—Drew Dixon, not because of Simmon’s request. The spokesperson further states, “First and foremost, she believes all of the women.”
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Dearest OPRAH,you have been a shining light to my family and my community. Contributing so much to my life that I couldn’t list a fraction of it in this blog.Ihave given you the gift of meditation and the groundbreaking book”THE POWER OF NOW “we bonded to say the least. This is why it’s so troubling that you choose me to single out in your recent documentry. I have already admitted to being a playboy more (appropriately titled today “womanizer”) sleeping with and putting myself in more compromising situations than almost any man I know. Not 8 or 14 thousand like Warren Beatty or Wilt Chamberlain, but still an embarrassing number. So many that some could reinterpret or reimagine a different recollection of the same experiences. Please note that ur producers said that this upcoming doc was to focus ONLY on 3 hand chosen women. I have refused to get in the mud with any accusers, but let’s acknowledge what i have shared. I have taken and passed nine 3-hour lie detector tests (taken for my daughters), that these stories have been passed on by CNN, NBC, BUZZFEED, NY POST, NY MAG, AND OTHERS. Now that you have reviewed the facts and you SHOULD have learned what I know; that these stories are UNUSABLE and that “hurt people hurt people”. Today I received a call from an old girlfriend from the early 1980s which means that they are using my words/evidence against me and their COMMITMENT/ (all of the claims are 25 to 40 years old) It is impossible to prove what happened 40 years ago, but in my case proof exists of what didn’t happen, mostly signed letters from their own parents, siblings, roommates, band members, interns, and in the case of 2 of your 3 accusers,their own words in their books. Shocking how many people have misused this important powerful revolution for relevance and money. … In closing, I am guilty of exploiting, supporting, and making the soundtrack for a grossly unequal society, but i have never been violent or forced myself on anyone. Still I am here to help support a necessary shift in power and consciousness. Let us get to work on uplifting humanity and put this moment and old narrative behind us
It’s important to note that a strong public campaign against the perceived inconsistencies of Oprah’s wrath was picking up steam. Large segments of the public began to openly question why Oprah had no issues executive producing a #MeToo-like against one time friend Russell Simmons but not even offer, at a bare minimum, public criticism for her long-time friend Harvey Weinstein.
Oprah’s friend, and protege Gayle King, seems to have picked up the mantle where Oprah left off but bring Russell Simmon’s “#MeTOO” accusers and their decades-old allegations to her CBS This Morning show which is viewed by millions of people. Interestingly, the YouTube clip of the airing has since been taken down which can presumably be attributed to public pressure which immediately began to be directed at Ms. King. My Religion Is Rap breaks down here what ultimately may be the real reason why Gayle King may be interested in taking the torch from Oprah and going after Simmons. Read about that here.