×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hulu Orders R. Kelly Sex-Abuse Documentary Film From BuzzFeed News

R. Kelly’s alleged sexual abuse of women and girls is the focus of a new documentary feature film BuzzFeed News is developing for Hulu.

The film will feature BuzzFeed News reporting by Jim DeRogatis — the veteran music critic and radio host who broke the explosive story on Kelly’s alleged sex cult for the site last year — along with deputy national editor Marisa Carroll, who has overseen BuzzFeed News’ coverage of the ongoing story.

Kelly has been accused of sexually abusive and inappropriate behavior toward numerous women and girls over the past two decades, including allegations from at least five women this month. In 2002 he was indicted on multiple counts of child pornography (before he was later acquitted). The R&B artist has never been convicted of a crime.

The documentary for Hulu also will feature interviews with key figures involved in Kelly’s past, including several survivors and the singer’s associates. DeRogatis will provide commentary in the film and also will serve as a consulting producer.

According to DeRogatis’ BuzzFeed News story published in July 2017, Kelly had “brainwashed” multiple young women who lived in his homes in Atlanta and Chicago after their parents brought them to him in an effort to advance their music careers. Kelly reportedly recorded his sexual encounters with the women, and allegedly subjected them to verbal and physical abuse.

The film, which is as yet untitled, will be distributed exclusively on Hulu. There’s no expected premiere date at this point.

The R. Kelly documentary will be directed by Lyric R. Cabral, director of Emmy-winning documentary feature “(T)error.” Oscar-winner Laura Poitras (“Citizenfour,” “Risk,” “My Country, My Country”) and Charlotte Cook (“Risk,” “The Gospel of Eureka,” “Our New President”). will serve as executive producers. Poitras and Cook are co-founders of Field of Vision, the documentary unit of First Look Media. The project was developed by Linzee Troubh, Shani Hilton, and Cindy Vanegas-Gesuale of BuzzFeed News, which is producing.

Separately, earlier this month cable network Lifetime announced plans for a documentary series and movie looking into the allegations against Kelly.

The R. Kelly film project for Hulu is latest programming deal for BuzzFeed News. Its weekly show for Netflix, “Follow This,” which profiles the work of its own staffers in 15-minute segments, is set to debut July 9. Meanwhile, Twitter recently renewed BuzzFeed News’ “AM to DM” morning show through the end of 2018. In addition, a true-crime show for Oxygen, based on reporting by BuzzFeed News’ Katie Baker on the mysterious death of Mississippi teen Jessica Chambers, is set to air this fall.

More Digital

  • Vaccination

    YouTube Yanks Ads From Anti-Vaccination Conspiracy Channels

    YouTube, under fire for facilitating the spread of conspiracy theories and other misinformation, said it will no longer serve ads on channels that espouse anti-vaccination rhetoric. The Google-owned video giant cited its advertising policy that bans “dangerous and harmful” content from eligibility in its monetization program. “We have strict policies that govern what videos we [...]

  • Evan Williams, Twitter founder (R) and

    Twitter Co-Founder Evan Williams Steps Down From Company’s Board

    Twitter co-founder Evan “Ev” Williams is stepping down from the company’s board, Twitter announced in a SEC filing Friday afternoon. Williams will depart from the board at the end of this month, according to the filing. “It’s been an incredible 13 years, and I’m proud of what Twitter has accomplished during my time with the [...]

  • Facebook Logo

    Facebook Shuts Down Controversial Ovano VPN App

    Responding to a continued backlash over its data collection practices, Facebook pulled the plug on its Ovano VPN app Friday. Ovano, which promised users an added level of privacy while using public Wifi hotspots, was used by Facebook for market research purposes. Facebook removed the app from the Google Play store Friday, and the company [...]

  • Smosh

    Smosh Acquired by Rhett & Link's Mythical Entertainment

    UPDATED: Smosh, the long-running YouTube comedy brand, has been acquired by Mythical Entertainment, the company formed by Rhett & Link, hosts of comedy show “Good Mythical Morning.” As first reported by Variety last week, Mythical emerged as the leading candidate to buy Smosh, which was left stranded after parent company Defy Media shut down without [...]

  • China Video Streaming Giant iQIYI Loses

    Chinese Video Giant iQIYI Loses $1.3 Billion in 2018

    Chinese video streaming firm iQIYI lost over $1.3 billion in 2018, as revenues and subscriber numbers ballooned. The deepening losses reflected ever higher spending on original content production. Announcing its first full-year financials since a March IPO that launched it onto the NASDAQ, iQIYI said that it lost $1.3 billion (RMB9.1 billion) last compared with [...]

  • Roku headquarters

    Roku Aims to Top $1 Billion in Revenue in 2019, Beats Holiday Quarter Earnings Expectations

    Roku wants to become a billion-dollar company in 2019, and invest more in its ongoing international expansion. The streaming-device maker told investors on Thursday that it expects to generate between $1 billion and $1.025 billion this year, and that international growth was one of its key investment areas for 2019. Roku made these announcements as [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content