A new six-part Lifetime docuseries, "Surviving R. Kelly," features the perspectives of over 50 people who have either accused the musician R. Kelly of sexual misconduct over the past few decades or worked with him during that time. Kelly is accused of a range of abuses against young women, and was acquitted of child pornography charges in 2008.
After such a long discussion regarding the singer's alleged misconduct, including a viral movement to #MuteRKelly, will this series have an impact?
Rev. Irene Monroe echoed sentiments from a Jan. 4 NBC News opinion piece, saying that if Kelly continues to sell concert tickets or records after the airing of the docuseries, that "we are all to blame.”
“For two decades we have been yelling and screaming, black women have been screaming about it, and nothing has been done,” Monroe said during her weekly All Revved Up segment on Boston Public Radio with Rev. Emmett G. Price III. “It really took someone like Ava Duvernay and Shonda Rhimes and Tarana Burke, the founder of #MeToo, to say that something needs to be done.”
For more than two decades, Kelly has faced allegations of sexual abuse. In 2002, the R&B singer was arrested on 21 counts on child pornography, and lawsuits followed. Finally, Kelly was acquitted after a high-profile court case, but the allegations have followed Kelly until January of this year, when the Lifetime series claimed the artist continues to keep women captive in a “sex cult” compound.
“The point here, in the movie "Boyz in the Hood," Ice Cube’s character said it best: 'Either they don’t know, they don’t show, or they don’t care what’s going on in the hood,'” Price said. “The series talked about the 2008 court case, it talked about the whole Aaliyah situation, who was underage and apparently they got married, then it talked about an expose about all these young girls, 14, 12, 13 … It’s insane, but we’ve known this. The problem is, people look at the cultural expression and the artist expression of individuals, and they disconnect it from the person.”