The documentary series Surviving R. Kelly, which aired on Lifetime in the first week of January, has prompted new interest in the R&B singer’s alleged sexual misconduct with minors. Focusing on stories about his illicit behavior that have circulated for decades, the docuseries raises questions about the limited actions in response to these women’s stories, especially in light of the #MeToo movement, charges filed against Harvey Weinstein and Bill Cosby’s guilty verdict.
The six-part series, executive produced by the filmmaker dream hampton, features interviews with survivors and parents of girls who they say have been taken captive by Kelly, along with accounts of him coercing women into sex with underage girls and preying on teenagers.
Surviving R. Kelly has spurred several responses, including from high profile figures in the music industry and from law enforcement officials, who have asked any other alleged victims to step forward in order to start an official investigation. Kelly was acquitted in 2008 on child pornography charges and has repeatedly denied allegations of sexual misconduct. A representative for Kelly did not return TIME’s request for comment.
hampton — who says she didn’t expect the wave of responses from investigators, celebrities and viewers — talked to TIME about who she interviewed for Surviving R. Kelly, where the #MeToo movement will go from here and how the public at large can help stop predatory behavior.
Surviving R. Kelly has prompted a number of high-profile responses, from Chance the Rapper to radio stations that have stopped playing his music. How did you feel about Lady Gaga’s statement apologizing for working with R. Kelly?
I thought there was a lot of nuance in it. It’s reflective to me of what people expect from victims of trauma, especially those that speak up, like Lady Gaga, to be perfect, in a way. I was very sorry that she didn’t speak [in the series]. It could have been valuable for people on camera to reckon with the fact that they had continued to collaborate with him, and if they could have said if they have regrets.
Along with those responses, lawyers and investigators have asked any other victims to come forward, indicating they might be looking into R. Kelly in the wake of the series. Has that given you any hope on justice eventually being served?
I don’t have hope in the criminal justice system. I would love a social …
Source:: Time – Entertainment