Questlove clears the air.
“Surviving R. Kelly” executive Producer dream hampton says Questlove, Dave Chappelle, Erykah Badu, and more celebrities declined to speak on the controversial singer.
In a recent interview with Shadow and Act, hampton revealed she had asked public figures, friends, and longtime collaborators to speak about R. Kelly on-camera for the new Lifetime program, she said many declined, but “John Legend was the only one,” who participated.
She continued, “I asked Jay-Z, I asked Mary J. Blige, I asked Lil Kim, Erykah Badu, Dave Chappelle… I mean, most people just don’t want to touch it. I remember Ahmir [“Questlove” Thompson] was like, ‘I would do anything for you but I can’t do this.’ It’s not because they support him, it’s because it’s so messy and muddy. It’s that turning away that has allowed this to go on.”
On Thursday, a Twitter user asked Questlove why he declined to comment on R. Kelly for the documentary and he responded in now-deleted tweets, denouncing R. Kelly. “I always thought Kels was trash. My reason for declining the R.Kelly 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 added, “That 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.”
Shortly after the clarification, hampton responded, in a since-deleted tweet, saying, “I’m sorry that this quote has caused you grief. You didn’t want to talk about him, no one did. But I think that not talking abt him has been a kind of pass, which is what I said. Didn’t mean for you to stand out in that quote.”
She also countered part of Questlove’s statement, in another now-deleted tweet that read, “I didn’t ask you about his “Genius”. I’ve never thought he was a genius. I asked you to come on camera and say the same thing you said on Twitter. I told you I need Black male allies.”
“Surviving R. Kelly” airs in three parts, starting tonight (Thursday Jan. 3rd) at 9 p.m. EST on Lifetime. Watch the trailer above.
Ivie is a Nigerian-American, native New Yorker, and journalist covering culture. Usually on-air, on deadline, and on point. @ivieani