Surviving R. Kelly: Celebrities React to Harrowing Documentary

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A new, haunting documentary, Surviving R. Kelly, has been airing on Lifetime.

The six-part series reveals new claims about the exploitation of Aaliyah and features moving testimony from people who knew R. Kelly firsthand.

Celebrities have been wathign along with the rest of us, and many of them are speaking out.

R. Kelly Image

Dream Hampton is one of the executive producers of Surviving R. Kelly.

She explained to the Detroit Free Press that getting other celebrities to speak about the predatory accusations against R. Kelly was "incredibly difficult."

"We asked Lady Gaga. We asked Erykah Badu. We asked Celine Dion. We asked Jay-Z. We asked Dave Chappelle," Hampton noted.

Hampton added, for contaxt, that these were all: " people who have been critical of him."

"That," Hampton concluded. "Makes John Legend even more of a hero for me."

Where others were afraid to discuss R. Kelly's alleged preying on minors and abusive sex cult, John Legend participated in the documentary.

"We should all thank my friend @dreamhampton for her very necessary work to create #SurvivingRKelly," Legend tweeted.

"These survivors deserved to be lifted up and heard," Legend affirmed. "I hope it gets them closer to some kind of justice."

John Legend Tweet on Surviving R. Kelly

"To everyone telling me how courageous I am for appearing in the doc, it didn't feel risky at all," Legend wrote in another tweet.

Legend continued: "I believe these women and don't give a f--k about protecting a serial child rapist. Easy decision."

There are so many terrible people in this world. John Legend is not one of them.

"Also I'm happy to support the work of people like my friends at @ALongWalkHome," Legend added.

He concluded: "Who have been speaking out on behalf of the survivors for a long time."

Jada Pinkett Smith at Red Table Talk

Jada Pinkett Smith shared that she watched the documentary with her 18-year-old daughter.

"I just watched this with my daughter Willow," Jada shared on Instagram, referring to Surviving R. Kelly.

"It was tough to watch but deeply important," she admitted. "It brought up A LOT for us both."

"Mothers and fathers ... it’s tough content," Jada warned her followers who are parents themselves.

"But," she continued. "it’s important we have conversations with both our daughters and sons around the many issues in this docuseries."

"It’s well done and makes it clear that we gotta do better ... in so many ways," she concluded.

Kerry Washington FTW

Meek Mill took to Twitter to openly question why in the world R. Kelly is still a free man.

"It don’t take a rocket scientist to see what was going on," Mill wrote. "What I’m tryna figure out why did they let it go on soooooo long!"

Actress Kerry Washington tweeted her very succinct thoughts.

"#SurvivingRKelly is the #1 trending topic on @twitter," she noted. "Amen. Speaking truth to power."

That last line is important.

Some of R. Kelly's most ardent defenders have alleged that the accusations are a racist conspiracy.

It's important to remember that Kelly's accusers are young black women, and that Kelly himself is the "power" in this situation.

Jemele Hill in Sunglasses

Even if you don't follow her work, you may remember journalist Jemele Hill's suspension by ESPN over discussing a boycott of the Dallas Cowboys.

She, too, spoke about the docuseries.

"People need to understand that abusers are charming, persuasive, manipulative and savvy," Jemele warned.

"These are not people in dark alleys, or white vans," she notes. "You go to church, and school with them."

"They are people you think are so upstanding #SurvivingRKelly," she concluded.

In recent decades, there was so much focus on stranger danger that many seemed to forget that the real danger could be family friend, a religious leader, or a celebrity.

Chance The Rapper on Stage

Chance the Rapper collaborated with R. Kelly as recently as 2015, and he took the opportunity to apologize for that.

"The truth is, any of us who ever ignored the R Kelly stories," Chance's tweet began.

He continued "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."

It is important to note that black women are targets of misogyny and also of racism. They experience the worst of both worlds.

"I apologize to all of his survivors for working with him," Chance stated clearly. "And for taking this long to speak out."

Some continue to defend R. Kelly, but we hope that this documentary opens a lot more eyes.

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R. Kelly Biography

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R. Kelly? Simply put: The man is a freak and he ought to be in jail for lots of years. His given name is Robert Sylvester Kelly. Really.... More »
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