On the Record, a documentary spotlighting the stories of several women who have made allegations of sexual misconduct against music mogul Russell Simmons, has found a domestic home in HBO Max following its debut at Sundance, and the high-profile departure of executive producer Oprah Winfrey and Apple TV+ from the project.
Directed by Amy Ziering and Kirby Dick — who have explored similar territory in previous docs such as The Hunting Ground and The Invisible War — the documentary follows the stories of music executive Drew Dixon and several other women as they decide to go public with the allegations against Simmons.
The stories of Sil Lai Abrams, Sheri Hines, Jenny Lumet, Alexia Norton Jones also feature within the film. Simmons has previously denied the allegations.
The doc is produced by Dick and Ziering’s Jane Doe Films with Dan Cogan for Impact Partners, Regina K Scully for Artemis Rising, Ian Darling for Shark Island and Abigail Disney for Level Forward serving as executive producers. Jamie Rogers and Amy Herdy also serve as producers.
The deal was brokered by UTA Independent Film Group. Financial terms were not disclosed.
“The fierce determination of Drew Dixon and all of the women who bravely chose to share their stories in On the Record moved us profoundly,” said Sarah Aubrey, head of original content at HBO Max, in a statement. “I’ve been impressed with Amy and Kirby’s work over the years covering this complex subject matter, and look forward to this film finding the widest possible audience.”
“Kirby and I are so proud to be teaming with HBO Max to give this film the outstanding platform it deserves and can’t wait for the public to see and hear the voices of these courageous women,” said Ziering.
“Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering are national treasures,” added Dan Cogan and Jenny Raskin of Impact Partners. “We are honored that HBO Max has decided to embrace this highly-anticipated film as their first festival acquisition ever, and we are thrilled for them to share it with their new audience.”
When the project was first announced in December of last year, it was billed as the story of a music executive grappling whether to go public with her story of assault and abuse by a “notable figure” in the music industry.
Winfrey pulled out of the project weeks before its Sundance debut, on January 10. In an interview with CBS This Morning, Winfrey stated she wanted to “context of the story to be broadened,” but that she still supports the women featured.
(Image courtesy Jane Doe Films)