Oprah’s bestie speaks about the mogul backing away from the #MeToo project.
The Untitled will premiere at The Sundance Film Festival at the end of the month, and the documentary will put Russell Simmons’s #MeToo accusers in the limelight. The film has already caused quite a stir after Oprah Winfrey was named as an executive producer—a role that she recently shared she’d be stepping away from.
In a statement to PEOPLE, the OWN mogul shared that due to “creative” differences with the documentary’s filmmakers, she no longer wanted her name attached to the project. Both Russell Simmons, who has denied all sexual misconduct accusations against him, and 50 Cent openly criticized Oprah for her association with The Untitled. Some people allege that due to pressure from the public, Oprah decided to disassociate from the film. According to her best friend Gayle King, that isn’t the case.
“I know this was a very stressful and very difficult decision for her to take her name off because she knows that her taking her name off because, as you point out, Russell has done a very public and very private campaign to convince her, she knows that the message that sends is that maybe she was muzzled,” King stated on CBS This Morning. “Nothing can be further from the case.”
King clarified why Oprah made the ultimate decision to part ways with the filmmakers, including that the former executive producer wanted more women involved in the film. “She thought that the documentary needed to breathe a little more,” King reportedly added. “She thought that it was important that it be put in context for the times because you know these allegations [are] from many years ago and now we’re here in 2020. Put it in context of the times of what was going on there at that time.”
Oprah isn’t one to shy away from using her platform to address scandals, so we’re sure this won’t be the last time she’s involved in a project such as this.