'On the Record': Release date, plot, cast, trailer and all you need to know about Russell Simmons sexual assault documentary

'On the Record': Release date, plot, cast, trailer and all you need to know about Russell Simmons sexual assault documentary
Russell Simmons (Getty Images)

HBO Max on May 12 released its trailer for 'On the Record,' which is a documentary discussing the sexual assault allegations that were made against Russell Simmons. The documentary was initially released in January 2020 at the Sundance Film Festival and HBO picked up the documentary in February after its debut.

Release date

'On the Record' will premiere on May 27, 2020.


'On The Record' (HBO Max)


The documentary centers around Drew Dixon and how she became one of the first women of color to have come forward with allegations against music mogul Russell Simmons. Dixon said while she was an executive at Def Jam Recordings, a hip hop music label co-founded by Simmons, he had "sexually harassed her repeatedly." Dixon said Simmons had raped her in 1995.


Dixon had first opened up about this with The New York Times and is also featured in another documentary with Sil Lai Abrams and Sheri Sher, two other women who have accused Simmons. "He's the king of hip-hop. The black community will hate my guts, I didn't want to let the culture down. I love the culture," said Dixon. The women have accused Simmons of rape, speaking of incidents that happened in the 1990s, but Simmons has denied the allegations of non-consensual sex. 


Russell Simmons (HBO Max)

The official synopsis, in part, reads, "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.”



'On the Record' is directed and produced by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering. In December, Oprah Winfrey was announced to serve as executive producer but before the movie debuted at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, Winfrey pulled out of the project. She cited "creative differences" and her statement, in part, read "there is more work to be done on the film to illuminate the full scope of what the victims endured. I want it to be known that I unequivocally believe and support the women."


Apple TV+ pulled out at the same time as Winfrey did, and then the film was picked up by HBO’s new streaming platform, HBO Max.

Dick and Ziering are known for their work on documentaries, 'The Hunting Ground' and 'The Invisible War', which have been nominated for the Oscars in 2012. 'The Invisible War' received an Academy Award nomination for' Best Documentary.'


The documentary is produced by Dick and Ziering’s Jane Doe Films, with Dan Cogan, Regina K Scully, Ian Darling and Abigail serving as executive producers.


Drew Dixon says, "I didn't tell that many people about what happened with Russell. He just grabbed me. He just grabbed me. And I'm saying no, I was reduced to nothing in that moment, nothing about anything that makes me who I am mattered."



Where to watch

Catch 'On the Record' will on HBO Max on May 27, 2020.

If you like this, you'll also love these

'The Hunting Ground'

'The Invisible War'


'Surviving R Kelly'


'At the Heart of Gold'

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 On the Record Release date plot cast trailer Drew Dixon Russell Simmons sexual documentary