- 07 Jan 19
The Chicago rapper responds to controversy in the wake of the ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ documentary series.
R. Kelly has come under fire once again in the aftermath of Lifetime's ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ series, which delved into the many allegations of sexual abuses levelled against the singer. While John Legend was the only artist who agreed to participate in the documentary series, Chance the Rapper has now come forward in response to a quote he made in May 2018, which was featured in the series’ finale.
Chance took to Twitter to state that his words, taken from an interview with the online magazine Cassius, were “taken out of context.” In the interview, Chance claimed that the reason he and many others ignored the allegations against R. Kelly for so long was “because [the accusers] were black women.”
In his statement on Twitter, Chance made an effort to clarify his previous comments, which had become the subject of considerable online outrage. He explained: “the truth is any of us who ever ignored the R Kelly stories, or ever believed he was being setup/attacked by the system (as black men often are) were doing so at the detriment of black women and girls.” In a follow-up tweet, Chance also remarked that “we are all capable of subconsciously discrediting [black women] and their stories because its indoctrinated.” Jamilah Lemieux, who conducted the original interview, also took to Twitter to express her support of Chance. She argued that he “spoke clearly and unequivocally in support of [black women] and the victims.”
Chance closed his statement with an apology to “all of [R. Kelly’s] survivors for working with him and for taking this long to speak out.” He had previously collaborated with R. Kelly on the 2015 track, 'Somewhere in Paradise.'
The six-part documentary series, created by filmmaker and critic dream hampton, was aired over three nights on Lifetime Network in early January. The series has sparked widespread discussion of sexual abuse in the entertainment industry.