It speaks so poorly of us as a society where people are mistreated by other people so much so that they have to “survive” in the ensuing onslaught. As if the trauma of having known that person, having been hurt by that person was not enough, the survivors have to defend their own, for a lack of a better word, survival? They have to justify their trauma, their demands for justice, their sanity? And if the perpetrator is a celebrity?
Robert Slyvester Kelly, 51, American singer, songwriter and former basketball player has been in the spotlight since 1994 for marrying an underage protege, raping & urinating on an underage girl, occupation of child porn, inducting underage girls in “abusive cult”- all accounts on which he plead not guilty and was acquitted. For more than two decades, this child molester has been on the loose, this predator whose management defended him from #MuteRKelly under The Time’s Up Women of color movement as, “the attempted lynching of a black man who has made extraordinary contributions to our culture”
The chickens, however, always come home to roost. A six part documentary on Lifetime is doing what should have been done decades ago, it is extensively investigating all the allegations against the chart-topping artist. Surviving R Kelly features testimonies from several women that have accused the singer of sexual misconduct over the last two decades. The six parts have been spaced in two episodes per day starting on Thursday, 3rd January to Saturday, 5th January. The series also include testimonies of artists from the entertainment industry criticizing the actions of Kelly. So far, singer John Legend, talk show host Wendy Williams, the founder of #MeToo movement, Tarana Burke have come forth while many other fellow artists are either denying to comment or defending Kelly.
The documentary has garnered immense support to get justice for the victims. Singer, John Legend tweeted yesterday, “To everyone telling me how courageous I am for appearing in the doc, it didn’t feel risky at all. I believe these women and don’t give a fuck about protecting a serial child rapist. Easy decision.” While many positive posts on various social media platforms have emerged so have the cyberbullies. A screening of this documentary last month was postponed in the light of imminent threats called in anonymously. Mr Kelly continues to deny all claims. As he and his management team have in the past, coming up with ingenious tricks to absolve Kelly, one of which included delaying a trial for over five years so that the jury would see a woman of age testifying rather than the girl who had to undergo the abuse. Several concerns have also been expressed about the people in accused’s inner circle that knew about the truth and did not come forward with it, calling them “complicit”.
We at New Day Live, support the victims, praise their courage and hope justice is served.