Oprah Winfrey recently stepped down as the executive producer of a documentary centered on Russell Simmons' sexual misconduct, leading to reactions from Russell's daughter, Aoki, and Ming.
The documentary which is titled "The United" was meant to be a #MeToo Apple TV+ documentary. However, media mogul, Oprah Winfrey pulled out of the documentary, citing creative differences.
Oprah, in pulling out, however, said in a statement that she believes and supports the women the documentary is about, and that their stories deserve to be told and heard.
Oprah also appeared on "CBS This Morning," where she stressed that her departure from the production of the documentary wasn’t a victory for Russell Simmons.
Responding passionately to people's insinuation that she was intimidated by Russell Simmons, Oprah cut the morning show's co-host short and said:
"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 a Russell Simmons after all I've been through."
Oprah Winfrey went on to give an example of how she spent three years on trial trying to protect girls in her school, who had accused a parent of sexual assault, even though no one believed them.
Her statement on the show sparked several reactions, including from Russell Simmons' daughters. Aoki Lee took to her Instagram story to post an image, in which she and her sister Ming looked to be having a conversation.
The media mogul told "CBS This Morning" presenters that she believed the documentary had to be pulled from its Sundance slot in the Documentary premieres section.
The image was captioned with words that seemed to have been uttered by Ming, it read, "You don’t even know how mad Oprah makes me."
The Shade Room caught sight of Aoki's Instagram Story post and posted it along with a clip from Oprah's "CBS This Morning" interview. They captioned the post thus:
"Oops!! It's safe to say that #RussellSimmons' daughters are not here for #OprahWinfrey at the moment!!"
Oprah's decision to quit the production of the "United" documentary also meant that she pulled out from the Apple TV+ streaming platform. That act would see the creators of the documentary searching for a distribution deal in Park City.
She, however, told "CBS This Morning" presenters that she believed the documentary had to be pulled from its Sundance slot in the Documentary premieres section, which the filmmakers didn’t agree to, prompting her exit.
Oprah narrated that she told the filmmakers that she felt there was a problem because new information had come forward, adding that she didn’t care about awards, but only wanted to get things right.
Winfrey believed that there were inconsistencies in the stories that needed to be looked at and that the story's context needed to be broadened, with more women brought into it.