Now we finally have a preview of the documentary sure to shake up the hip-hop community. After premiering at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, the first trailer for HBO Max’s On the Record, which details years of alleged sexual misconduct at the hands of Russell Simmons, was released earlier this week.
The trailer introduces viewers to Drew Dixon, a former executive at Def Jam, which Simmons created, and how she quickly rose in the music industry.
“He just grabbed me,” Dixon, who initially told her story to The New York Times, says at one part in the trailer. “And I’m saying no. I was reduced to nothing in that moment.”
Also in the doc is Simmons, who’s shown seemingly being questioned about the allegations and saying, “I don’t have a stitch of violence in me. I would never hurt anybody.”
On the Record comes from filmmakers Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, the Oscar-nominated team behind 2015’s The Hunting Ground. Along with Drew, we also hear stories from other women who allege that Simmons sexually assaulted them, including hip-hop artist Sherri Hines and writer-activist Sil Lai Abrams.
It’s been a bumpy road for the project to get acquired by HBO Max. Back in January, Oprah Winfrey announced she was stepping away from the documentary due to “inconsistencies.”
“It was a hard decision because I knew that Russell Simmons had started publicly pressuring me [on social media] and that me pulling out of the documentary was going to look like I was being pressured,” she began.
Winfrey added, however, that “this is not a victory for Russell, and I unequivocally say that I did not pull out because of Russell. This is not a victory lap for him. I cannot be silenced by Russell Simmons after all I’ve been through.”
On the Record premieres May 27 on HBO Max.