Surviving R. Kelly was not only a documentary series, it was a significant moment in time that we’ll never forget. In addition to fostering further difficult conversations surrounding the continued saga of Robert “R.” Kelly, it truly gave a voice to the voiceless: black girls.
The Emmy-nominated series certainly made an impact, racking in over 26.8 million viewers. Additionally, R. Kelly was the top search under the “Musician and Bands” category in Google’s Year in 2019 list. Not only did the docu-series make a social impact, it had an influence on the justice system. Seven weeks after Surviving R. Kelly aired, the Cook County attorney’s office indicted Kelly on 10 felony counts of aggravated assault. He subsequently faced additional child pornography and kidnapping charges. Kelly is currently in custody, facing 18 federal charges, most recently adding another state charge for bribery.
Of course, the conversation isn’t over. Far from over, in fact. As such, Lifetime has announced the second part of the saga, Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning. And oh, is there a reckoning to be done, especially as it pertains to the music industry, as a whole.
Per A+E Network’s press release:
In the days following the debut of Surviving R. Kelly on Lifetime this past January, vital conversations erupted throughout the world. Calls to sexual assault hotlines increased by 35%, and #MuteRKelly activists were further galvanized to protest for R. Kelly’s record label to drop him. Public outcry ensured the survivors would not be ignored and more women came forward with allegations of abuse. Seven weeks after the debut of the docuseries, the Cook County attorney’s office indicted the R&B singer on 10 felony counts of aggravated sexual assault involving alleged four victims and spanning over a decade, ultimately leading to Kelly’s arrest. Then in July 2019, R. Kelly was arrested on charges including child pornography and kidnapping, facing a total of 18 federal charges.
Produced by Kreativ Inc, Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning is executive produced by Joel Karsberg and Jesse Daniels of Kreativ Inc.; dream hampton; Tamra Simmons; Maria Pepin; and Brie Miranda Bryant who executive produces for Lifetime. Sudi Khosropur is co-executive producer. Surviving R. Kelly falls under Lifetime’s commitment to provide a platform to give women a voice where they have previously been unheard to bring awareness to the alleged abuses and harassment of women.
Along with new survivors coming forward, the docu-series will include interviews with Jim DeRogatis, Damon Dash, Mathew Knowles, Jimmy Maynes, Tarana Burke (who is featured in a new PSA as part of the network’s Stop Violence Against Women campaign), W. Kamau Bell, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Angela Yee, Jamilah Lemieux, Kimberly M. Foxx, Gloria Allred and more. Further, Lifetime will be continuing its partnership with the country’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, RAINN.
The two-hour premiere of Surviving R. Kelly Part II: The Reckoning airs Jan. 2 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Lifetime. Night two will air Jan. 3 at 9 p.m. ET/PT and the conclusion, night three will air Jan. 4. at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Lifetime.