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Lifetime to air follow up to Surviving R Kelly documentary

By | Published on Monday 29 April 2019

R Kelly

US TV network Lifetime has announced a follow-up to its ‘Surviving R Kelly’ series which will look at the impact the original programme had in relation to the many allegations of sexual abuse made against the musician. It will put the spotlight on the new allegations and criminal investigation that have followed the documentary’s airing, and also the wider conversation around sexual violence that it initiated.

Few of the claims in the programme were new, journalist Jim DeRogatis having rigorously documented allegations that have been made and civil lawsuits that have been filed against Kelly since the early 2000s. And amid mounting media coverage, a campaign calling on the music industry and music media to stop working with and supporting the musician had been steadily gaining momentum for a few years now.

However, the Lifetime documentary took things to a whole new level when in was first aired in January, with the documentary’s allegations dominating the news agenda in the US shortly after broadcast. Kelly continues to proclaim his innocence, pointing out that he was acquitted the only time criminal charges were previously pressed. But in the wake of the programme new charges have been made, and this time the music industry seems more keen to cut its ties with the star as a result.

According to Deadline, the follow up programme will be called ‘Surviving R. Kelly: The Impact’ and will “highlight the impact the documentary has had on our culture globally, how it has elevated the conversation on sexual violence and what it means to be a survivor”. It will also look at the now infamous interview Kelly gave to CBS journalist Gayle King after the original show aired and put the spotlight on those still defending the musician.

The new programme will be hosted by journalist Soledad O’Brien and will air in the US next Saturday, 4 May.