The recently aired documentary series called "Surviving R Kelly", featuring the sexual misconduct allegations against the famous singer, have unleashed a tidal wave of criticism from the public and celebrities.
The producers of the docuseries invited numerous people related to those allegations, victims of the alleged misconduct, their families as well as R Kelly's colleagues, to tell their story, although the latter were reluctant to participate. Among those who refused were Lady Gaga, Erykah Badu, Celine Dion, Dave Chappelle, and Jay-Z.
Celebrities' Reaction and Public Backlash
The release of the docuseries left celebrities, especially those who worked with the singer, in a sticky situation.
Famous actress, Cara Delevigne, confirmed losing some 50,000 subscribers on Instagram following her post about R Kelly's alleged misconduct and how they made him "far worse" than Harvey Weinstein. Delevigne admitted to having known about the allegations prior to the documentary and having done nothing about it.
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I finished the Surviving R Kelly documentary last night and I am so shocked and outraged at how long this has gone on. My heart goes out to all the victims of his emotional and physical abuse and their families. This man is a predator that feeds of power and in my opinion is far worse than Harvey Weinstein and needs to be held accountable. I am not trying to compare the two, my point is, Harvey is being investigated and R Kelly is not. We have ourselves to blame in this situation, I knew of the allegations but failed to try and understand the severity of the situation. I still continued to listen to his music. Stop separating art from the artist, just because he sings like an angel, doesn’t mean he is one. I still want to applaud @johnlegend @keke @vincestaples @chancetherapper @jadapinkettsmith @ladygaga for continuing the conversation. I really hope that more musicians stand up against this monster #MuteRKelly #MeToo #blackgirlslivesmatter
The aftermath of "Surviving R Kelly" has affected even those, who were not connected to the singer directly. A singer from the group Little Mix, Jesy Nelson, came under fire on Twitter after she recently published a video of her singing R Kelly's hit "Ignition" just days following the airing of the bombshell documentary.
LMAO AS IF WE NEEDED ANOTHER REASON TO CANCEL JESY NELSON pic.twitter.com/wBhQYM3VX8— 𝑏𝑏𝑦 𝑔𝑟𝑙 🎀 (@LeighForever27) January 13, 2019
yikes first jesy nelson posts a video of her white friend singin the n word and now a video of her bopping to r kelly? we stan little mix but she needs to either educate herself or delete her axcount x— nia (@buttrflystyles) January 12, 2019
Other netizens disagreed with them, stating the fact that Nelson listens to or sings along to R Kelly's songs, doesn't make her supportive of the crimes he is accused of.
Jesy nelson did nothing wrong just bc she listens to one song of a person who has done horrible shit doesnt mean that she thinks any of that shit is okay. Someone can listen to a chris brown song that doesn’t mean they think abusing someone is okay. Maybe+— prisilla (@liamwurld) January 13, 2019
I'm tired of reading hate tweets about jesy nelson. I need to speak up because LITERALLY half the fandom is dragging her bcuz of a STUPID issue that makes absolutely no sense AT ALL.— don't mess with this mixer (@echoingmix) January 13, 2019
Lady Gaga, who earlier refused to participate in its production, came out to support the docuseries and all the "victims of sexual assault", labelling the allegations against R Kelly "horrifying and indefensible".
Her statement came after numerous fans wondered if she would comment on the accusations against the singer, with whom she collaborated in 2013 on "Do What U Want". Lady Gaga assured her fans that she would try to remove the song from all streaming services and said that she regrets writing it.
Like you didn't know about R. Kelly when you did "Do What You Want" with him. Everyone knew. Burn in Hell, Gaga, you satanic witch.— Mark Dice (@MarkDice) January 10, 2019
Didn’t you turn down a request to be interviewed for this doc? I appreciate your words but it’s unfortunate to see so many celebs decline going on camera then bandwagoning after the fact.— Keana (@itskeana) January 10, 2019
Some even suggested that it was a PR move to assure the film "A Star is Born", in which Lady Gaga starred, receives an Oscar.
Because it’s not their Oscar season.— Billy (@evrybdygegeget) January 10, 2019
Well-said!— Doris (@newfiechick) January 10, 2019
PR move. Genuity is missing. I thought it was quite hypocritical of her to take a stand on abuse in the public eye, while collaborating with him.
Disgusted that many other well-known artists had not spoken up about this years ago, and still have not today.#MuteRKelly
Sexual Misconduct Allegations
R Kelly has been facing accusations of sexual misconducts for years, with their number increasing amid the rise of the MeToo movement. The claims suggested that the singer has engaged in sexual relations with underage girls on several occasions. He was also charged with child pornography accusations, but was never convicted.
The activist group called The Women of Colour called to boycott R Kelly's songs in April of last year. The same year, 20-year-old Faith Rodgers filed a suit against the singer, claiming that he got her drunk, assaulted her, and infected her with an STD.
R Kelly has denied all the accusations and claimed he never knew half of the people, who participated in the docuseries, and added that those of them, whom he knew, took part in it as a personal "vendetta" against him, according to an anonymous source cited by TMZ. The singer's lawyer noted that his client "never knowingly had sex with an underage woman [and] never forced anyone to do anything".