The Lifetime series Surviving R. Kelly has recently aired on TV in the States and rightfully so has caused a much overdue uproar
I’ve not seen the show yet but it seems it doesn’t show anything new that already wasn’t in the public domain. There has been many accounts of sexual misconduct against R. Kelly, whether that be marrying Aaliyah when she was 14; urinating on an then underage girl on video; various accounts of abuse and more recently in 2017 allegations of running a sex cult out of his home
Despite this he and his career has managed to survive all these years without issue. The #MuteRKelly campaign didn’t seem to have an effect with the core of his fans and he still continued to sell out concerts and his record label keeping him on their books (money talks)
Part of it comes from the fact that he’s used cash & NDAs to pay off a lot of his survivors. Additionally it seems we’re in a state of play when it comes to celebrities that the evidence the public and fans have to see needs to be insurmountable – I mean the video was not enough – its crazy. Another thing is the victims – unfortunately we are in an age where young black women are the lower common denominator whose voices aren’t listened to.
On this last point a comparator (although I don’t have the complete details of the two cases) would be the allegations of R. Kelly running a sex cult out of his home in 2017 and Allison Mack (of the Smallville fame) who was part of the cult XNIVM and was arrested along with its leader Keith Raniere for using the practice to run a sex cult. She’s currently in court for sex trafficking, conspiracy, force labour. I’m my opinion (despite there being overriding factors between the two cases) is that part of the reason why R. Kelly walked from that case free were the victims. If any of his victims had been young white women I believe he would have been arrested by now
Maybe that’s why what seems like a quiet exploitative documentary like Surviving R. Kelly is needed. Its the kick in the teeth that the public need to really see what he’s doing.
Unfortunately his sales and steams have actually increased since the documentary has come out which is mad.
Lets hope this documentary turns the tide on the saga of R. Kelly. The next few weeks and months will definitely tell
I’ll have more after I’ve seen the documentary