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February 5, 2018

Oprah to Russell Simmons: You get… a removal from my book


Oprah Winfrey, the people’s president, has removed the contribution from Russell Simmons from her latest book, The Wisdom of Sundays. Simmons is best known for cofounding Def Jam Records, and, over recent months, for facing multiple accusations of sexual assault and rape.

At the New York TimesMelena Ryzik writes that Oprah’s publisher, Flatiron Books, “said the decision to remove the pages was made jointly by Ms. Winfrey and the publishers, but declined to say when they made that choice.” The Wisdom of Sundays, which first hit shelves last fall, is a spiritual advice book filled with conversations between Oprah and the inspiring people she has had as guests on her TV show “Super Soul Sunday.” Future editions of the book will come without Simmons’s contribution, which had focused on “the impact meditation has had on his life, as well as musings on the soul, abundance and wealth,” according to Ryzik.

Oprah has been an outspoken advocate of the #MeToo movement, most notably in her recent speech at the Golden Globes, where she said, “A new day is on the horizon. And when that new day finally dawns, it will be because of a lot of magnificent women… fighting hard to make sure that they become the leaders who take us to the time when nobody ever has to say ‘Me too’ again.” Throughout her career, Oprah has spoken at length about the abuses she’s suffered in her own life.

Oprah’s decision to remove Simmons from her book doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Women’s having to come to terms and make decisions about the men in their life has been a persistent feature of the #MeToo moment. And while Oprah has not spoken on her decision to remove Simmons from her book—and seemingly, her life—her actions speak louder than words.



Stephanie DeLuca is the director of publicity at Melville House.