Apple TV+ may have just lost a second high-profile project that was set to appear on the streaming platform, just one month after it was announced: the Oprah Winfrey-produced documentary that follows music industry executive Drew Dixon, one of the women who accused Russell Simmons of rape and came forward in an interview with The New York Times.
(Apple also indefinitely delayed the theatrical release of its feature film The Banker two months ago.)
“I have decided that I will no longer be executive producer on The Untitled Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering documentary and it will not air on Apple TV+,” Oprah wrote in a statement issued to several film industry publications, including The Hollywood Reporter, Deadline and The Wrap.
Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. We’re not clear what kind of terms Oprah negotiated in her multi-year deal with Apple, but perhaps she has the authority to make this kind of decision? The film was to be “presented by Oprah Winfrey” on the streaming platform, so it could admittedly be a little awkward for Apple to air it if she’s no longer a producer.
Here’s Oprah’s full statement, via Deadline:
I have decided that I will no longer be executive producer on The Untitled Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering Documentary and it will not air on Apple TV+. First and foremost, I want it to be known that I unequivocally believe and support the women. Their stories deserve to be told and heard. In my opinion, there is more work to be done on the film to illuminate the full scope of what the victims endured and it has become clear that the filmmakers and I are not aligned in that creative vision. Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering are talented filmmakers. I have great respect for their mission but given the filmmakers’ desire to premiere the film at the Sundance Film Festival before I believe it is complete, I feel it’s best to step aside. I will be working with Time’s Up to support the victims and those impacted by abuse and sexual harassment.
The statement makes it sound like the film will still appear at Sundance, which kicks off January 24th. Here’s the Sundance Film Festival page for the documentary, which is why we know the film is about Drew Dixon — that wasn’t disclosed in Apple’s original press release.
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