Lifetime’s shocking six-part docuseries Surviving R. Kelly, which details the longtime controversy surrounding singer R. Kelly, concluded on Saturday evening.
With more than 50 conducted interviews — including quotes from former collaborators and victims of Kelly’s alleged sex crimes — producer Dream Hampton aimed to expose the many allegations of predatory tendencies and sexual misconduct levelled against the 51-year-old singer.
Chance the Rapper was the second A-list celebrity to make an appearance following the EGOT-winning John Legend, who spoke in the first episode. The Surviving R. Kelly crew even staged a rescue with the mother of one of Kelly’s alleged “kidnap” victims.
From his ex-wife Andrea Kelly to his former employees, or from his victims to even his own brothers, the remaining four episodes of Surviving R. Kelly featured a number of individuals detailing the horror of Kelly’s more recent alleged acts.
In Friday and Saturday night’s episodes, viewers learned about more ghastly allegations, including a number of apparent kidnapping stories.
A’Iceis Clary, the sister of alleged victim Azriel Clary, claimed that Kelly had his security guards threaten to kill her family after she attempted to retrieve her allegedly kidnapped sister from his studio back in 2015.
“When I woke up one morning, wasn’t there,” she said. “So I walked to the studio, and Kelly’s nephew was there. He told me they left, so I started yelling and cussing, saying, ‘Someone needs to bring my sister out here.'”
“So my sister came out, and I said, ‘We’re leaving.’ I started dragging my sister out of the studio and then Kelly is pulling my sister and I’m pulling her, too. I tell , ‘I’m going to call the police and tell them you kidnapped my sister.'”
“R. Kelly told his security to make me disappear,” she added. “They pinned me down and carried me out, and pulled in back of an alley at a McDonald’s and they (said), ‘If you say anything, your sister won’t make it out alive, or your family.'”
The younger Clary was 17 at the time when her parents reportedly allowed her to travel with Kelly. According to the older sister, it was an attempt to build her music career.
WATCH: John Legend speaks out against R. Kelly in Surviving R. Kelly
Jocelyn Savage, 21, is another victim who was allegedly held against her own will by Kelly. The Surviving R. Kelly crew got in touch with her mother Michelle Kramer to help find her daughter.
The group travelled to a Beverly Hills hotel to retrieve the daughter. In an exclusive interview, Kramer claimed that the two met secretly in the hotel bathroom stall, then escaped from Kelly.
It was later revealed that only three days later, Gardner went back to Kelly, suggesting that she may have willingly stayed with the singer. She allegedly left him once more and returned home to her family.
Allegations from a former ex-girlfriend suggested that Kelly was still actively in contact with the underage girl with whom he allegedly performed sexual acts in a sex tape that surfaced in 2002. She claimed that he had introduced them both.
“The images were the same girl that he had introduced me to a couple weeks before. I knew immediately it was the same woman,” she claimed. “‘Don’t ever accuse me of stuff like that,’ he said. He beat me in the car on the way back. That was the first time he was ever physical with me.”
Clary’s parents further stated that the girls who were allegedly part of Kelly’s “sex-cult” were forced to use a bucket rather than going to the bathroom. They claimed that their daughter saw buckets in the corners of every other girl’s room.
Countless harrowing allegations were made and now many voices have been heard. It’s clear that the internet is listening now, too.
Even Jada Pinkett Smith took to Instagram to share her thoughts. “I really don’t want to believe that because black girls don’t matter enough,” she said, sparking major controversy.
The 47-year-old expressed her dread that Kelly’s music was gaining more traction with the resurgence of last April’s #MuteRKelly movement which was regurgitated by the Lifetime premiere.
Many social media users stood by Pinkett Smith’s comments by positively reinforcing the importance of equality and having a voice which can be heard.
A number of other major celebrities are being called out on social media for refusing to appear on Surviving R. Kelly.
Lady Gaga, Questlove, Jay-Z and even Celine Dion are among the many receiving criticism.
Despite making an appearance in the documentary’s final episode, Chance the Rapper is receiving possibly the most backlash of them all because of what he said in the interview.
The 45-second clip that made the cut included a questionable comment, which Chance argued was “taken out of context.” “Maybe I didn’t care because I didn’t value the accusers’ stories because they were black women,” he said.
The 25-year-old took to Twitter in an attempt to explain his comments and provide context for the entire interview, which was cut short.
“The quote was taken out of context, but the truth is any of us who ever ignored the R. Kelly stories, or ever believed he was being setup/attacked by the system (as black men often are) were doing so at the detriment of black women and girls,” he admitted.
“I apologize to all of his survivors for working with him and for taking this long to speak out,” he added.
An American journalist, Jamilah Lemieux, came out and revealed she conducted the interview with the rapper. She supported his comments and added that “he spoke clearly and unequivocally in support of and the victims.”
Lemieux also agreed that his “comments were taken out of context” and that the interview should be “heard” to account for his “vocal inflections” rather than “read” in a “muddled” manner.
Many were still taken aback by the Coloring Book singer’s words.
“ really f**king sad he didn’t care about the victims because they were black women,” wrote one user. “There is audio to literally prove that he said that.
“I’m disgusted,” they added. “F**k him and everyone else who still supports him after that statement.”
Cassius — the company Lemieux worked for — released the entire interview shortly after which included an additional two minutes of footage with Chance including his comments about regrettably working with Kelly. The statement included:
“Making a song with R. Kelly was a mistake. We’re programmed to really be hypersensitive to black male oppression, but black women are exponentially a higher oppressed and violated group of people just in comparison to the whole world.
“Maybe I didn’t care because I didn’t value the accusers’ stories because they were black women. Usually, n****s that get in trouble for s**t like this on their magnitude of celebrity, it’s light-skinned women or white women. That’s when it’s a big story. I’ve never really seen any pictures of R. Kelly’s accusers.”
“I can’t be right all the time,” he added. “I made a mistake and I’m happy that those women are getting voices now and I can grow to understand better what my positioning should be or should’ve been when that opportunity came.”
After reportedly threatening to file a lawsuit against Lifetime, Kelly has not taken action or made comment on the series since it aired over the weekend.
As of this writing, Kelly has not been charged or convicted for any of the recent allegations of sexual misconduct.
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