The two-hour special will be hosted by Soledad O’Brien and premiere Saturday, May 4 on Lifetime in the US (a UK release date has yet to be announced). It will explore the impact the original documentary had on culture and conversation around sexual violence and being a survivor. It will also feature clips from the original, and interviews with journalists, legal experts, nonprofit organisations, and psychologists who will discuss the case Kelly is currently facing and break down his explosive interview with Gayle King.
Surviving R. Kelly, which aired in January, alleged that Kelly had physically, emotionally, and sexually abused many women over his career. Since then, Kelly has been charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse, and earlier this week lost a civil lawsuit, brought against him by a woman who says he sexually abused her as a teenager, by default for failing to appear in court, according to People.
In addition to actual charges, the docuseries made accusations against Kelly common knowledge. He has been accused of this kind of behaviour for over 20 years, starting with Tiffany Hawkins filing a $10 million lawsuit against Kelly in 1996, claiming "personal injuries and emotional distress" from their relationship, which began when she was 15 and Kelly was 24.
After his survivors, their families, and other music industry professionals spoke out against Kelly in the documentary, movements such as #MuteRKelly emerged. #MuteRKelly was a push by the Time's Up movement asking Apple Music and Spotify to remove Kelly's music from their platform, Ticketmaster to stop selling tickets for his performances, and RCA records to stop producing and distributing his music. Kelly was dropped by RCA shortly after, and Spotify announced on May 10 that they removed the artist from their programmed playlists, promotions, and recommendation systems.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the The Survivors Trust hotline at 0808 801 0818.