Rose McGowan, Marisa Tomei, Thandie Newton, and More Sign Statement Supporting Russell Simmons’ Accusers

Mounting sexual-assault allegations against the hip-hop mogul are under increased scrutiny with the premiere of a new Sundance doc this week.
On the Record
"On the Record"
Courtesy of Jane Doe Films

More than 100 luminaries have signed a statement in support of the multiple women who have accused hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons of sexual assault. The allegations will be further explored this week with the world premiere of Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering’s “On the Record” at the Sundance Film Festival, a documentary that Oprah Winfrey recently exited as executive producer, thereby killing the film’s distribution setup with Apple TV+.

The list of individuals supporting the more-than-20 women who’ve accused Russell Simmons — such as former music executive Drew Dixon, whose accounts are detailed in the new film — include Rose McGowan, Alyssa Milano, Marisa Tomei, Gloria Steinem, Thandie Newton, Evan Rachel Wood, Liz Garbus, Idina Menzel, and Rosanna Arquette. See the full list below.

Organized by Equality Now, UltraViolet, and V-Day, the statement, which will be shared on social media, is as follows: “It takes great courage for any survivors of sexual assault to come forward, especially publicly. We admire the bravery of all of the Russell Simmons’ survivors and the #silencebreakers who stepped up to share their story in the @OnTheRecordDoc. We are unequivocally united in supporting the survivors in the film and all survivors of Russell Simmons. We want them to know: We believe you. We hear you. You deserve to be seen. #MeToo”

Oprah, who long held a professional relationship with Simmons before repeated accusations of sexual abuse against him surfaced in 2017, said that he did try to dissuade her from putting her stamp on the movie. “He did reach out multiple times and attempted to pressure me,” she told The New York Times. She added, “I told him directly in a phone call that I will not be pressured either into, or out of, backing this film. I am only going to do what I believe to be the right thing.”

However, Oprah reportedly became the target not only of Simmons, but of his associates looking to debunk Dixon’s claims and intimated Oprah into dumping the project.

“On the Record” is still set to premiere on Saturday, January 25 at Sundance, where the filmmakers will look for a new distributor. See the full lists of supporters of Thursday’s statement below.


Ai-Jen Poo
Alexandra Posen
Alysia Reiner
Alyssa Milano
Aminatou Sow
Amy Carlson
Angela Rose
Anne Ream
Beverly Guy-Sheftall
Bonnie Abaunza
Bridgit Antoinette Evans
Caitlin Dulany
Caroline Heldman
Charlotte Sheedy
Dan Cogan
Evan Rachel Wood
Eve Ensler
Frances Fisher
Geralyn Dreyfous
Gina Belafonte
Gloria Steinem
Hibaaq Osman
Heidi Schreck
Idina Menzel
Isolde Brielmaier
Jamia Wilson
Jenny Raskin
Jerri Moomaw
Jess McIntosh
Jess Morales Rocketto
Judith Bruce
Julia Pacetti
Kamilah Willingham
Katherine Kendall
Kevin Powell
Lara Stein
Larissa Gomes
Liesl Gerntholtz
Lili Bernard
Lisa Shannon
Liz Garbus
Liz Plank
Marisa Tomei
Monica Ramirez
Nelini Stamp
Pamela Guest
Pat Mitchell
Paula J. Giddings
Professor Kimberle Crenshaw
Rachel Lears
Rosanna Arquette
Rose McGowan
Sarah Sophie Flicker
Sheetal Sheth
Simon Kilmurry
Susan Celia Swan
Susan Xenarios
Taina Bien Aime
Tanya Selvaratnam
Teresa C. Younger
Thandie Newton
Yara Travieso
Yasmeen Hassan
Zillah Eisenstein


Black Women’s Blueprint
Chicago Media Project
Coalition Against Trafficking in Women
Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking
Cohen Law Group
Equality Now
Everywoman Everywhere
Feminist Camp
FUTURES without Violence
Girls for Gender Equity
HEART Women & Girls
Impact Partners
InMaat Foundation
Innovations Human Trafficking Collaborative
Justice For Migrant Women
Ms. Foundation for Women
National Alliance to End Sexual Violence
National Coalition Against Domestic Violence
National Domestic Workers Alliance
National Women’s Law Center
New York Alliance on Sexual Assault
New York Women’s Foundation
One Billion Rising
Oregon Abuse Advocates and Survivors in Service
Protect Our Defenders
Sisterhood Is Global Institute
The Voices and Faces Project
Tools & Tiaras
We are the Federation
Women And Hollywood
Women in Film, Los Angeles
Women’s Equal Justice Project
Women’s March Global
World Without Exploitation

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