Lifetime’s “Surviving R. Kelly” ignited a wave of activism, and the network will explore the wide-reaching effects of the doc in a follow-up two-hour special, “Surviving R. Kelly: The Impact.” It will be hosted by journalist Soledad O’Brien and is set to debut Saturday, May 4 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.
The special will examine the impact the documentary has had on culture globally and how it has elevated the dialogue around sexual violence and being a survivor. Kelly has been accused by numerous women and their families of sexual abuse, and the January docuseries detailed decades of allegations, through interviews with survivors and associates.
Following the release of “Surviving R. Kelly,” hashtags like #MuteRKelly surged on social media and activists called for a boycott of the R&B singer. The public outrage led Sony to drop the artist from its record label and seven weeks after the special’s debut, the Cook County attorney’s office indicted Kelly on 10 felony accounts of aggravated sexual assault involving four victims and going back over a decade, ultimately leading to Kelly’s arrest. He recently also lost a civil suit filed by one victim in the criminal case. At least four other state and federal entities have reportedly opened investigations into Kelly in recent months.
The upcoming special features footage from the docuseries, interviews with journalists, legal experts, non-profit organizations, and psychologists to discuss the ongoing proceedings surrounding Kelly, including an in-depth look at his infamous interview with Gayle King.
“Surviving R. Kelly: The Impact” is produced by Peacock Productions for Lifetime and executive produced by Elizabeth Waller. “Surviving R. Kelly” is executive produced by cultural critic, filmmaker and activist Dream Hampton, Tamra Simmons, Joel Karsberg and Jesse Daniels for Kreativ Inc. which has a production deal with Bunim/Murray Productions, and Brie Miranda Bryant from Lifetime.