“I’ve been a victim for 22 years. I’m tired of being a victim,” says Drew Dixon in a new trailer for “On the Record.” The upcoming HBO Max documentary hails from Amy Ziering and Kirby Dick, the Oscar-nominated filmmakers of “The Invisible War” and “The Hunting Ground,” and follows Dixon’s decision to publicly accuse Russell Simmons of sexual misconduct.
The spot kicks off with Dixon, a music exec, recalling how a job offer from Simmons at Def Jam initially seemed like a dream come true.
“There was a lot of mobility for women [in the music industry], but at the same time there was a tremendous amount of sexual harassment,” a character explains. Another adds, “You didn’t get a lot of sympathy for that. That was considered the price of admission.”
Dixon recalls how she felt when Simmons grabbed her, and ignored her when she said “no” to his advances. “I was reduced to nothing in that moment. Nothing about anything that makes me who I am mattered,” she reveals.
Doubting that anyone would take her seriously or believe her, Dixon decided against sharing her story with the police or the press.
“If white women are not believed, what do you think is happening to black women in America when we come forward with stories about sexual violence?” an interviewee asks.
Dixon was convinced that if she accused the “king of hip-hop” of sexual misconduct, the black community would “hate [her] guts.” She emphasizes, “I don’t want to let the culture down. I love the culture.”
Check out the trailer to see what ultimately convinces Dixon to go on the record with her story, and to hear from other women who have accused Simmons, including Sil Lai Abrams and Sheri Sher.
“On the Record” made its world premiere at Sundance in January and premieres on HBO Max May 27.