‘Surviving R. Kelly’ Producers Talked to 54 People, Because ‘This Isn’t One Person’s Story’

IndieWire | 1/16/2019 | Staff
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The executive producers behind “Surviving R. Kelly” might have released their record-breaking game-changing documentary, but they’re still incredibly busy. This is because of the mammoth reaction to the six-part series which premiered on Lifetime less than two weeks ago, which has since triggered a massive outcry against the titular singer, one well beyond their expectations.

“No one expected this sort of reaction,” Brie Miranda Bryant told IndieWire. “I think everybody is just trying to keep up with the momentum and thinking about what the future looks like, from both the creative standpoint and network standpoint.”

Rumors - Behavior - Decades - MeToo - Movement

While rumors about his behavior had been around for literal decades, and the #MeToo movement was gaining steam, Daniels observed that while “a lot of people were being named and talked about during that time, for some reason R. Kelly wasn’t being talked about at that same level.”

Thus, the producers, including executive producer dream hampton, began to dig deeper, and as Daniels said, “we realized just how certainly sad, and compelling, and complex these victims’ stories were… It took several months of development, of gaining these survivors’ trust, but also trying to understand this really complex world and put all kinds of puzzle pieces together.”

Bryant - Pitch - Lifetime - Board - Survivors

Bryant noted that the original pitch, which brought Lifetime on board, “was extremely thorough, putting about two to three survivors together, along with two sets of parents.” But it was only the beginning, because as she noted, the more they researched, the more they realized “how many countless stories had been told previously around this subject, and how many women had just been screaming in the wind. No one was really listening.”

Thus, from that original pitch, a documentary that initially felt like it might last an hour to 90 minutes expanded to six hour-long episodes, with 54 participants in total being interviewed, from...
(Excerpt) Read more at: IndieWire
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