On the Record review – #MeToo music doc is essential viewing

Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering’s intersectional approach to exploring sexual abuse in the music industry is candid and empathetic

This essential documentary from Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering offers a much needed recalibration of #MeToo, taking into account race and the additional weight shouldered by black women who decide to come forward with their experiences of rape and sexual abuse. The central story here is that of Drew Dixon, an eloquent, intelligent and talented woman who gave up a stellar career in A&R as a result of the systemic culture of sexual abuse within the hip-hop music industry. The stories of her treatment at the hands of Def Jam Recordings head Russell Simmons and others are harrowing; the film lays bare the great personal cost she wrestles with in her decision to go public 20 years later. “I do not want to be radioactive,” she observes, adding that by naming her abusers, she would be inviting back into her life the very chaos that she has managed to leave behind. The film’s empathetic approach allows Dixon to explore her decision, peeling back the layers of complexity that racism brings to the burden of sexual abuse. A must watch.

Watch a trailer for On the Record.


Wendy Ide

The GuardianTramp

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