Written by Jessica Shelburne
Surviving R. Kelly is a documentary released at the end of 2018 that reveals the music producer’s disreputable past. Involved in multiple counts of child pornography, abuse, rape, eviction and criminal activity, the recent accusations have left fans and the public alike feeling betrayed…yet not entirely surprised.
The music industry has been in headlines more and more in recent years due to allegations of behavioral misconduct and sexual assault, highlighting incidents including those involving the Kesha and Dr. Luke controversy and the charges against Nelly. Most recently, however, was the allegations of rape against Chris Brown, who was detained after a night in a Parisian nightclub. Ten years ago, Brown was involved in a domestic violence scandal with Rihanna, and has been in and out of the media ever since.
Actions like these headline major news platforms far too often. The film and politics industries seem to be most frequently tangled up in these situations, but behavioral misconduct occurs everywhere, daily.
When celebrities are found guilty of unlawful actions, most people relinquish their fandom in favor of morality. However, it can be particularly difficult to do so regarding music producers because of the unique connection we build with an artist and their music. Do we continue listening out of loyalty or press skip to honor the victims and our conscience?
John Legend, who appeared in the R. Kelly documentary, makes his opinion clear, “I believe these women and don’t give a [you know] about protecting a serial child rapist. Easy decision.”