John Legend, Jemele Hill, Kerry Washington react to ‘Surviving R. Kelly’ docuseries


 // Jan 4, 2019

Randee St. Nicholas // RCA Records

Lifetime's new six-part documentary centering on R. Kelly and the sexual abuse allegations being made against him has got everyone talking.

The series, Surviving R. Kelly, made its debut Thursday night (Jan. 3) despite the R&B singer threatening legal action. The hashtag surrounding the dialogue that the docuseries sparked instantly began trending with countless weighing in to react to the film's emotionally raw content.

The docuseries includes more than 50 interviews with his alleged victims, former collaborators and family members. As expected, it has garnered a slew of reactions from people across the board, including from a handful of celebrities such as John Legend, who appeared in the special, Jemele Hill, Questlove and Kerry Washington, among others.

Legend took to Twitter to react to people praising him for his involvement, brushing off the compliments and referring to his participation as an "easy decision."

"To everyone telling me how courageous I am for appearing in the doc, it didn't feel risky at all," he said in a tweet. "I believe these women and don't give a f—k about protecting a serial child rapist. Easy decision."

It was reported that filmmaker and executive show runner dream hampton had difficulty finding celebrities connected to Kelly at some point in their careers who agreed to participate in the series. In addition to citing JAY-Z, Lady Gaga, Mary J. Blige, Lil' Kim, Dave Chappelle and Erykah Badu as passing on the documentary, hampton also named Questlove, who promptly shared his reasoning for opting out.

"I always thought Kels was trash," Questlove wrote on Twitter. "My reason for declining the RKelly docu that I support 10000000 percent is I didn't wanna be in the 'good times' portion of the doc, like stanning for his 'genius.' I was asked to talk about his genius. I do not nor have I EVER stanned for him"

He further elaborated, adding, "Just wanna make that abundantly clear in a non 'he doth protest too much' way. That [hampton] quote makes it look like I'm protecting him. I'm thinking 'damn I don't wanna be the one guy I always am in documentaries fawning over someone I detest.' So make ZERO mistake on my positioning."

The Roots member later deleted the tweets after hampton responded, saying she never once asked him to comment on Kelly's "genius."

The second and third installments of the series are slated to air Friday and Saturday on Lifetime.

Take a look at some reactions from Surviving R. Kelly thus far in the tweets below.

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