Lifetime has ordered two projects that will tackle the allegations of alleged abuse currently swirling around R&B star R. Kelly, the network announced Monday.
The first project is an untitled documentary series that will investigate rumors of abuse, predatory behavior, and pedophilia surrounding the singer. Alleged survivors of Kelly’s abuse and people from his inner circle will participate, providing allegations about his alleged sexual, mental, and physical abuse. Lifetime has also greenlit a movie that will delve into the inner world of R. Kelly, detailing allegations of abuse and mind games.
The documentary series and movie are executive produced by Joel Karsberg and Jesse Daniels of Kreativ Inc., which, as part of their production deal, is backed exclusively by Bunim/Murray Productions (BMP). dream hampton is an executive producer on the documentary series, along with Brie Miranda Bryant from Lifetime. Ilene Kahn Power serves as an executive producer on the movie and Barbara Marshall will write the script.
“What we’ve seen—in the last year in particular—is the tremendous power of women’s voices when given the opportunity to share their truth,” said Brie Miranda Bryant, senior vice president of unscripted development and programming, Lifetime. “But there are important stories still untold, stories of bravery, resilience and defiance that demand to be heard. This is one of those stories.”
The projects are part of Lifetime’s re-launched Stop Violence Against Women campaign, in which the network is partnering with organizations to spread awareness, empower women, provide healing tools and support for women in need of assistance. The initiative will also include educational resources and outreach to young women in high schools and colleges nationwide so young women have tools to discuss and address the ways these issues affect their lives, particularly for women of color.
Kelly has been the subject of multiple controversies over the course of his career. He found himself under renewed scrutiny in July when reports surfaced that Kelly was operating a “cult” in which he allegedly brainwashed young women after telling them he could help their musical careers. He is said to have kept multiple young women at his homes in both Chicago and Atlanta, cutting off their communication with their families, and abusing them both mentally and physically.
In response to the new allegations and Kelly’s other controversies, WOC–the women of color branch within the #TimesUp movement–have begun a campaign called #MuteRKelly. The group has called upon RCA Records, Spotify, Apple Music, Ticketmaster and the Greensboro Coliseum in North Carolina, where Kelly is scheduled to perform in May, to “join us and insist on safety and dignity for women of all kinds.”
Kelly’s reps have called the campaign “a greedy, conscious and malicious conspiracy to demean him, his family and the women with whom he spends his time.”