Surviving R. Kelly
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Surviving R. Kelly is a six-part documentary series that explores the sexual misconduct and abuse allegations made against songwriter and recording artist R. Kelly from the perspective of the accusers. The film interviews women who claim that Kelly abused them, as well as members of the music industry.
On October 22nd, 2018, Lifetime premiered a trailer for the series Survivng R. Kelly, which explores the sexual misconduct allegations against R. Kelly, which includes the physical and psychological abuse of several women, as well as several underage women. The trailer also explores the movement to out Kelly as an abuser. Within three months, the trailer has received more than 475,000 views (shown below).
Two months later, on December 18th, Lifetime published a video preview of the series. The post received more than 700,000 views in one month (shown below, left). That day, they published another preview. The post received more than 474,000 views in one year (shown below, right). On January 3rd, 2019, the first part of the six-part series aired on Lifetime.
In late April, it was announced that a 2-hour follow-up special, titled Surviving R. Kelly: The Impact would air on Lifetime on May 4th, 2019. Hosted by journalist Soledad O’Brien, the special will discuss the reactions to the documentary and the cultural impact it had on the greater community, along with the dialogue surrounding sexual violence.
Many online praised the series. Writer Christina Cole tweeted, "Stellar journalism, stellar filmmaking. But furthermore, just grateful for your resolve to amplify survivor stories and the truth. Thank you and everyone involved for believing black women @dreamhampton. #SurvivingRKelly." The tweet received more than 240 retweets and 1,200 likes in four days (shown below, left). Community organizer Rosa Clemente tweeted, "The fact that 2019 is starting off with @dreamhampton 6 part doc-series Surviving R. Kelly beginning Jan 3-5th on two-hour installments makes me rejoice and know for sure that 2019 is a game changing year. Thank you dream" (shown below, right).
The night of the premiere, the National Sexual Assault Hotline claimed that they saw an increase in calls. The hotline claimed to have received more 27% more calls than "the same day the week before."
On January 6th, 2019, Twitter user @MawanoKambeu tweeted a clip from the animated television series The Boondocks that criticized those who support R. Kelly.
The Boondocks warned us about R Kelly Years ago even told us to go get him counseling if we really wanted to help him #SurvivingRKelly pic.twitter.com/IUbVEHYv9Y— Mawano Kambeu (@MawanoKambeu) January 7, 2019
That day, Redditor  Liz-B-Anne posted about the series in the /r/documentaries subreddit. The post received more than 21,000 points (92% upvoted) and 2,200 comments in 24 hours.
The following night, according to the Blast, R. Kelly's streams on music steaming application Spotify inccreased by 16%.
On January 6th, actor Jada Pinkett Smith posted a video on Instagram  @jadapinkettsmith posted a video of her discussing the surge in Spotify streams. In the video she said that she is "having a really difficult time understanding why." She continues, "I think it’s important that I understand why. I really would like for you guys to help me understand what I am missing. Even if I’m missing something that I don’t necessarily agree with. I just want to understand what I’m missing." The post received more than 2 million views and 450,000 likes in 24 hours (shown below).
R. Kelly's Response
An anonymous source close to Kelly told TMZ that the singer plans to "sue everybody who had anything to do with this."
On January 7th, Media Matters editor Cristina López G. accused Facebook of allowing Kelly to "smear" the accusers with the page "Surviving Lies." She tweeted, "Disgusting: Not only is @facebook letting R. Kelly smear sexual assault survivors with this page, the platform is also profiting from the smears with ad money." The tweet received more than 220 retweets and 235 likes in 24 hours (shown below).
That day, TMZ reported that Kelly had plans to launch a "survivinglies.com" website. The website, as TMZ states, would "attempt to expose all of his accusers as liars as well as reveal their true motivations behind their allegations."
Before the page could launch, Facebook removed the Surviving Lies page, citing a violation of community standards. The company said, "The Page violated our Community Standards and has been removed. We do not tolerate bullying or sharing other’s private contact information and take action on content that violates our policies as soon as we’re aware."
The page linked to a YouTube video from the account rkellynews of one of a phone conversation with a woman, which the Surviving Lies Facebook page identified as the daughter of Kelly accusers Asante McGee. The identity of the woman has not been verified. In the clip, the woman claims her mother was "living the life" with Kelly, who gifted her money and clothes.
On January 18th, 2019, R. Kelly was removed from the signed musician list on the RCA Records website. No official announcement was made concerning the removal. This decision followed two weeks of #MuteRKelly protests outside the Manhattan Sony building. In the early 1990s, Kelly was signed to Jive records which became part of Sony in 2012. RCA/Sony will keep Kelly's catalog available on digital retailers and streaming services.
 Pitchfork – Watch Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly” Docuseries Trailer
 Twitter – @ChrissyCole's Tweet
 Twitter – @rosaclemente's Tweet
 Twitter – @crislopezg's Tweet
 The Daily Beast – Sex Abuse Hotline Calls Surge During Lifetime’s ‘Surviving R.Kelly’
 The Blast – R. Kelly’s Music Sees a Rise After Controversial ‘Surviving’ Documentary
 Instagram – @jadapinkettsmith's Post
 Reddit – /r/documentaries":https://www.reddit.com/r/Documentaries/comments/ad2ur0/surviving_r_kelly_2019_4part_lifetime_docuseries/
 TMZ – R. Kelly Facebook Removes 'Surviving Lies' Page
 The Daily Dot – "Facebook removes R. Kelly’s page aiming to dismiss survivor accounts ":https://www.dailydot.com/irl/rkelly-survivinglies-facebook/
 Escquire – Sony May Have Dropped R. Kelly, But They're Still Profiting
 Variety – R. Kelly Dropped
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