John Legend Explains — Once More — Why He Participated In Surviving R. Kelly

Photo: Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic.
A lot has been made of John Legend's participation in the headline-generating documentary Surviving R. Kelly. One of very few celebrities to appear in it, Legend has been lionized as the "brave" man willing to step forward and address the years and years of accusations against R. Kelly. On Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen Thursday night, Legend reiterated that for him, participating in the documentary was not a big deal.
"One, I'm friends with the director," Legend explained. "Her name is Dream Hampton, she's awesome, we worked together on ending mass incarceration. I respect her work a lot, and she asked me to do it."
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Hampton, who stylizes her name as "dream hampton," worked on Legend's 2015 Free America initiative, which was aimed at ending mass incarceration.
Added Legend, "Another reason I wanted to do it: I have friends that were a part of the #MuteRKelly movement. They were literally marching on the streets and they work with rape victims in Chicago...They work with a lot of Black girls in Chicago who are often overlooked." Legend said that, as a celebrity, he knew that his participation in the documentary would bring it more attention.
"I knew that as a celebrity, I could lend my voice to something that would highlight these young people who'd been hurt," said Legend.
Legend still can't speculate as to why other celebrities didn't participate in the doc — Hampton has claimed that celebrities like Lady Gaga, Erykah Badu, Celine Dion, Jay-Z, and Dave Chappelle declined interview requests. What he can do, though, and has continued to do, is point the spotlight toward the victims and activists in the doc who might not otherwise be making headlines.
Shortly after the series aired, Chrissy Teigen (who also appeared on WWHL) tweeted, "Proud of john but so in awe of the strength and courage of the women involved, who survived and told their stories. I wish I could be as eloquent as John but - fuck R Kelly."
Watch the full WWHL segment, below.
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