On the Record


A Tribe Called #MeToo

HBO Max has just been launched and has released a variety of shows and movies outside its comfort zone, including some new movies and shows. The first movie I’ve viewed on it was the documentary “On the Record,” which is especially essential for the #MeToo era.

We meet Drew Dixon, who used to work for Biggie Smalls, who was a friend to her, until his murder. She was also an A&R executive, the daughter of the former mayor of Washington DC, and a rap fanatic. She beloved rappers had bright futures, based on their hard work and commitment to the music industry.

But this documentary is not just about her life story, but also about her accusations aimed against hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons on sexual assault. That’s why this is a #MeToo movie.

Ever since women had the courage to expose Harvey Weinstein’s crimes, more and more women found the opportunities to go against more celebrities, including Kevin Spacey, Brett Ratner, and Louis CK. Simmons ended up in this trend.

She fell into his clutches of seduction, rape, and assault. At least she believes she was raped, because she blacked out. Her explanations really draw you in, and you sympathize her horrors, especially since this threatened to deteriorate her as a woman.

At that time, it would have also destroyed her as an African-American woman if she went up against Simmons at that time. Her community would have ripped her apart, the way did to Mike Tyson’s rape victim.

And she basically had to take the assaults, given the circumstances that he refined the hip-hop culture. To the music industry, he was a hero (“The Godfather of Hip-Hop”), and she was too cynical to take that title away from him.

It’s not just Drew Dixon, but also voices come from the likes of Sil Lai Abrams, Sherri Hines, Jenny Lumet, and Alexia Norton Jones about him. And we also get notes about how Simmons claims to be innocent, and how these interviews are fabricated. But do we believe these rumors? Not even close.

The day after learning about Minneapolis cops murdering an African-American man named George Floyd, I’ve come across a movie about why African-American women had to survive the sexual assaults of Russell Simmons, and why they were often silenced. It’s a culture thing, as far as I’m concerned, and it’s often sickening.

I can’t imagine the pain and horrors that these women went through, in regards to all the media moguls who abused the opposite sex. But I would like to share my support for them. They never deserved this, and “On the Record” reels you in on that notion. Directors Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, the two behind the Oscar-nominated doc “The Invisible War,” delve into their motives, and respect their feelings and issues. And we believe these women have been victims of Simmons.

It’s not just the movies that contains some monsters; it’s also in the music industry. The movie continues to help movie-goers open their eyes about what else goes on in society, besides racism. This is about women, and they deserve to be heard. Viva la #MeToo!


Available for Streaming on HBO Max

Categories: Documentary

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