Last night saw the premiere of Surviving R. Kelly, a six-part docuseries from Lifetime that digs into the myriad allegations of sexual assault, pedophilia, and imprisonment made against its namesake singer. But, though more than 50 people are interviewed in the documentary, the absence of Kelly’s collaborators and colleagues in the music industry is striking. In interviews with both the Detroit Free Press and Shadow And Act, executive producer revealed that Lady Gaga, Jay-Z, Questlove, Celine Dion, Erykah Badu, and Dave Chappelle, among others, refused to participate. The only artists who did agree to be interviewed for the docuseries were EGOT winner John Legend and Stephanie “Sparkle” Edwards.
Legend, who’s been a vocal supporter of the #MuteRKelly movement, took to Twitter last night to assert that his choice to appear in the documentary was an “easy decision.”
“To everyone telling me how courageous I am for appearing in the doc, it didn’t feel risky at all,” he wrote. “I believe these women and don’t give a fuck about protecting a serial child rapist. Easy decision.” In another tweet, he praised Hampton, saying that “these survivors deserved to be lifted up and heard.”