HBO Max has released the first official trailer for “On the Record,” Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering’s investigative documentary about the sexual assault allegations against hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons. The film focuses mainly on music executive Drew Dixon, a producer of hit records by 2Pac, Method Man, and Mary J. Blige, who became the first woman of color to go on the record with her allegations.
The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, where it prompted backlash from Simmons supporters.
Here’s the official logline from HBO MAX: “Directed and produced by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering (‘The Hunting Ground,’ ‘The Invisible War’), and first reported by The New York Times, ‘On the Record’ presents the haunting story of music executive Drew Dixon as she grapples with her decision to become one of the first women of color, in the wake of #MeToo, to come forward and publicly accuse hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons of sexual misconduct. The film chronicles not only Dixon’s story, but that of several other accusers — Sil Lai Abrams, Sheri Sher — delving deeply into the ways women of colors’ voices are all too often silenced and ignored when reporting these stories; as well as the various cultural forces that conspire to make them reluctant to do so.”
Just days before the Sundance premiere, Oprah Winfrey pulled her name from the project, taking the film’s Apple TV+ distribution with it. Winfrey cited creative differences with the filmmakers. Shortly thereafter, the film was picked up by HBO Max, HBO’s new streaming platform.
Dick and Ziering are the team behind Oscar-nominated documentaries “The Hunting Ground” and “The Invisible War,” which dealt with sexual assault on college campuses and in the military, respectively. “The Invisible War” received an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary in 2012.
In his review out of Sundance, IndieWire’s Eric Kohn called the film “a smart and sturdy behind-the-scenes look at a high-profile #MeToo drama, [which] succeeds at scrutinizing the conundrum facing countless women still afraid of speaking out.”
“On the Record” will be available to stream as part of HBO Max’s official launch on May 27.