For scarcely 3 decades R. Kelly’s purported abuse of immature Black women has left mostly ignored—by a authorised complement that has ruled in his favor; by a media that possibly sensationalized or discontinued these allegations; by Kelly facilitators, who aided and abetted rapist and incorrigible behavior; and by a Black village that has stable this knave and devalued a girls.
Today, a Lifetime network will atmosphere a third section of Surviving R. Kelly, a docu-series that centers Kelly survivors and their tour from victimhood. The six-hour array aims to concentration a account around a passionate abuse gifted by Kelly’s mother and several of his victims, exposing usually how process Kelly’s predation is.
It concretized a summary that Black girls are disposable.
Stories of R. Kelly’s rapacious function date behind to 1994 when he secretly—and illegally—wed songstress and protégé Aaliyah. (In 1995, VIBE repository published a matrimony certificate that falsified a budding singer’s age, inventory her as 18, when in fact was usually 15 years old.) The kinship was after annulled though rumors of Kelly’s predation of underage women continued to circulate. Though these headlines wouldn’t make inhabitant news yet, in a late ‘90s several Chicago-area women (Kelly is from Chicago), accused a celebrity of passionate duress when they were minors. At slightest one of these cases was staid for $250,000. Then, during a tallness of his career in 2002, a video leaked of R. Kelly enchanting in sex with teenage girls, and urinating on an apparent minor, reputed to be 14 years of age. Kelly was indicted with 21 counts of child pornography, and after a strategically behind hearing that stretched over 8 years, a recording artist was cleared of all charges.
It would seem that such discernible justification would remonstrate his legions of fans and a jury of 12, tasked with portion justice, that Robert Sylvester Kelly was a passionate predator. It did not. R. Kelly’s exculpation concretized a summary that Black girls are disposable. In Jul 2017, Buzzfeed reported that several women were partial of sex cult with Kelly during a helm. Since then, mixed women have come brazen with harrowing accounts of passionate attack and assault during a hands of Kelly, all of that a artist vehemently denies.
Is a universe finally prepared to hear and trust Kelly’s victims? Can a open apart a male from a art? Should they? Executive writer and showrunner dream hampton and her group interviewed over 50 people for a groundbreaking doc with a unaccompanied focus: revelation a stories of Black women. ‘Black women are important,’ she says. ‘This is about them.’
Here, she talks about how a doc got done (especially given she had no adore for Lifetime), and what she hopes it achieves.
Were we a one obliged for removing Lifetime on board?
dream hampton: No, Bunim/Murray poductions had a attribute with Lifetime. we was like ‘Why would we accommodate with a people that do a Kardashians and a people that did a terrible Aaliyah Movie?’ we never watch Lifetime…. we was late to a Skype call, we had on my sunglasses and was eating my sushi, and we was like ‘What do we guys want? Do we wish to do a reenactment?’ And they told me they wanted to do a critical documentary. They were in hold and had been holding space for a relations with a survivors and that kind of irritated my seductiveness and we was like ‘OK, this is going to be special, if y’all do it right, if we don’t disaster it up.’
That leads to my subsequent doubt ….how did we accept a project?
I suspicion this was an event to finally understanding with R. Kelly.
Do we consider competition has influenced how a media has reported on R. Kelly?
It seems that whole tools of a story have been suppressed.
First of all, R. Kelly is a Black artist he creates Black song and he hasn’t unequivocally crossed over. What crossed over some-more than “I Believe we Can Fly,” is folks meditative “Trapped In a Closet” was a many waggish shit they had ever seen, in a same approach they would watch a blaxploitation movie. So he is not a crossover artist. He is a problem, he has preyed on Black girls and Black women specifically.
He targets girls who are exposed to being tender by resources and fame, and girls who have talent themselves and consider that, like Aaliyah, he will furnish them. Sadly, there is a doctrine substantial in Aaliyah. Fame creates people not be that logical. [In a doc, several Kelly survivors endorse they fell chase to his passionate strategy and abuse and felt they could not contend ‘no’ to his advances since they were afraid; he was violent; doing so competence jeopardise a career opportunity; he was R. Kelly.]
The fact his victims have been discharged has all to do with a fact they are Black girls.
The fact his victims have been discharged has all to do with a fact they are Black girls. We have a story in this nation of not desiring black girls and women, that we have no group over a bodies. [In a contention with Melissa Harris-Perry] bell hooks talks about how infrequently we protest about Oh another labour movie, though we haven’t even begun to empty a ways in that we are still traffic with a bequest of slavery. And that’s a approach bequest of slavery: to trust that we can't rape women’s bodies since they are there to be abused. Now do we trust that a passionate assault and abuse is cramped to Black women? No. we trust it’s a tellurian problem. But when we concentration on R. Kelly of march they didn’t get that kind of attention. Even now in my Twitter mentions people are doing a “What about it” form thing, “When are we gonna discuss Harvey Weinstein.” we caring about Black girls.
How formidable was it for we to find these women, get them on house and hear these stories?
It’s impossibly formidable to hear a stories, being on a receiving finish of a trauma, mostly unprocessed trauma, untreated trauma. It’s not like these women have been to therapy.
As distant as removing them on board, this was a plan of Tamara Simmons, another executive producer. we came on as showrunner and executive producer, and she, Jesse Daniels and Bunim/Murray had been holding space for these relationships. They had relations with a good 7 or 8 of a women and a families who were perplexing to get their children back. We indeed talked to some-more women than we have on camera.
What do we wish audiences to take divided from Surviving R Kelly?
I would like for people to solve whatever tragedy they competence be holding around a doubt of art and an artist when it comes to R. Kelly. we know that’s an age aged question—ancient even. If we knew how a people we desired behaved we wouldn’t be fans of them. The final chairman we was a outrageous fan of was Michael Jackson, so we don’t trust in a judgment of being a fan of someone. I’ve famous artists my whole life. I’m an artist so we don’t trust artists are well-developed people who people should have fantasies about.
But during a same time, R. Kelly’s song is exactly about what he’s been doing. There’s a approach line between his art and his rapacious behavior, between job himself a Pied Piper and “Age Ain’t Nothing though a Number.” He is impossibly approach and it’s positively what it is: “It Seems Like You’re Ready.” This isn’t some formidable thing we have to unspool and uncover to get to a bottom of it like Richard Wright, who was elementary in his misogyny, though who had literary skills. This is since his morality appeals to us. we get that, I’m from Detroit. we like elementary knowledge and plain oral Black people. I’m not looking for people to daunt me, though he has been impossibly candid about who he is and he’s a predator.
Why is this story critical during this time?
It’s critical since Black girls and Black women are critical and it’s about them.