dream hampton on Surviving R. Kelly, Supporting Survivors and Why She Wants a ‘Social Death’ for R. Kelly

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 death for R. Kelly. It’s valuable for black people to be loved by other black people because we’re not loved by the rest of society. I would like for people to know who it is they think they love, and make their decision based on that.

You asked a number of well-known people, from Jay-Z to Erykah Badu to Mary J. Blige, about participating in the series and did not get much of a response from anyone other than John Legend. Who would you like to see speak out?

I wanted Erykah Badu to explain what she meant when she was quoted as saying R. Kelly has “done more for the blacks than anyone”. But I’m not interested in celebrities. I wanted people who worked with Kelly every day on his label, like Barry Weiss [former head of RCA/Jive Records] and other people, like Ann Carli, who worked with him at Jive Records.

[Representatives for Carli and RCA Records did not immediately respond to TIME’s requests for comment. A representative for Weiss declined to comment.]

The New York Times had an op-ed about how Surviving R. Kelly brought the focus of the #MeToo movement back to black girls. The documentary touches on how R. Kelly has avoided consequences in part because people broadly have not cared about the stories of black girls and women. Do you see this as a new starting point to center these voices going forward?

The kind of work we’ve been doing, we’ve always been doing. These movements, for racial justice and gender justice, always overlap with black women. The #MeToo movement and the generation that will fight for gender justice safety is absolutely not being led by celebrities. We know about Gwyneth Paltrow and Mira Sorvino’s stories — we’re aware of that. You’re not always aware of what we’re doing, and what we’re always doing is organizing. When Rick Ross had a lyric about drugging a woman’s glass of champagne and raping her, [women’s activist group] UltraViolet targeted Reebok to cancel his endorsement. That was years ago. We are always doing the work.

On Twitter, people have asked you questions like, “What about Harvey Weinstein?” or about not making a “Surviving Catholic Priests,” or another kind of documentary that wasn’t about a black man. Why do you think people are obsessed with this idea that Kelly is the wrong subject?

When people ask on Twitter, “Why isn’t this about Harvey Weinstein,” they’re really asking “Why is this not about Gwyneth Paltrow or Mira Sorvino?” It’s not about them, not because I don’t think they are women who are deserving of processing pain and getting justice for their trauma. I care about these black girls, black girls in general, and women. And I made a film about a man from my generation. I don’t know any other cis men who don’t benefit from patriarchy. It’s not that R. Kelly is offensive or a creep, or because he has a predilection for young girls, but because he has been a predator for almost three decades and he’s ruined the lives of countless girls and their families.

How can people watching this series at home support survivors?

These are everyday women. They may have come across a predator who happens to be world famous, but we can all look out for predatory behavior. We can stop using euphemisms for this. I always hope something like this [series] can be used as a tool for organizing. #MuteRKelly protests were in front of his studio the other day. Donations to A Long Walk Home, which works to save victims of domestic violence, have increased. We’ve seen calls at domestic centers increase. I could never have anticipated these things.


Entertainment – TIME

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R. Kelly’s Streams Increase 16% After ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ Docuseries Premiere

‘Surviving R. Kelly’ has dominated the social media conversation for two nights in a row — but as they say, all publicity is good publicity.

According to The Blast, a rep for Spotify confirms that R. Kelly’s  streams have increased 16% since Lifetime aired part 1 of ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ on Thursday night.

via The Blast:

The bump is interesting, considering the rocky past between R. Kelly and Spotify. Back in May, the global streaming giant announced they were removing R. Kelly’s music from all of its owned and operated playlists as part of an updated policy to stop promoting artists who have been accused of “hateful conduct.”

Spotify later backtracked from the ban after receiving backlash for supporting other artists who had been accused of sexual assault while singling out Kelly.

“Surviving R. Kelly” has gained major attention by showcasing former friends, employees and even family members speaking candidly about R. Kelly sexually abusing not only women, but young girls. Stars like John Legend and Wendy Williams have attached themselves to the project, even appearing on camera to talk about the allegations.

We’re willing to bet the same aunties that still bought tickets to R. Kelly shows in 2018 are the ones still playing his music.

The post R. Kelly’s Streams Increase 16% After ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ Docuseries Premiere appeared first on lovebscott – celebrity news.

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Here is some of the most disturbing information revealed in the Surviving R. Kelly docuseries

Here is some of the most disturbing information revealed in the Surviving R. Kelly docuseries


Here is some of the most disturbing information revealed in the <em> Surviving R. Kelly</em> docuseries

Last night, January 3rd, Lifetime’s new docuseries, Surviving R. Kelly, aired its first two episodes. The six-part series chronicles the years of sexual abuse allegations leveled against the “I Believe I Can Fly” singer—and the many people who allowed his alleged actions to continue unquestioned. The remaining four episodes of the series will air tonight, January 4th, and tomorrow, January 5th, and the initial two episodes have already brought many disturbing revelations to light. Here are just a few of the most harrowing details we’ve learned so far.

1. Witnesses say Kelly’s ex-wife, Andrea Kelly, was kept locked in an apartment.

USA Today reports that the R&B singer’s former wife, Andrea Kelly, said he planned their entire wedding himself—and she didn’t even know it was going to happen.

“My wedding was a surprise wedding,” she said, per USA Today. “I did not know I was getting married.”

Rolling Stone notes that other witnesses interviewed for the series claimed that she was later locked in Kelly’s apartment. Andrea Kelly has spoken about being abused by her ex-husband before, and in an October 2018 episode of The Viewshe alleged that he physically abused her.

2. One of Kelly’s former backup dancers claimed she witnessed him committing statutory rape.

Jovante Cunningham, a former backup singer and dancer for Kelly, disclosed that she witnessed Kelly having a sexual encounter on a tour bus with then 15-year-old Aaliyah (Kelly was 27). However, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution notes that Aaliyah’s mother, Diane Haughton, dismissed Cunningham’s claims as “lies and fabrications” in a tweeted statement.

3. Kelly’s ex-assistant said Aaliyah was “worried and scared” at their wedding.

Demetrius Smith, who previously worked as an assistant and tour manager for Kelly, discussed arranging Kelly’s marriage to then 15-year-old Aaliyah in 1994. Smith explains that Kelly used a fake marriage license for the ceremony, which listed Aaliyah’s age as 18. Although Kelly has claimed the marriage never occurred, Smith insists it did, adding that Aaliyah was “worried and scared” before the ceremony.

“Aaliyah looked worried, scared,” he said. “She was worried and scared. I wanted so much to grab Aaliyah and talk to her. She gave me a look like she wanted me to talk to her…I knew that it had changed the course of everything.”

The information that has come to light in Surviving R. Kelly is undoubtedly horrifying. We just hope the series helps bring Kelly to justice.

If you or someone you know has experienced sexual harassment or assault, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.

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Surviving Michael and the devastation left behind

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