Saturday, September 18, 2021

R. Kelly Documentary From BuzzFeed Being Developed at Hulu

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R. Kelly performs at Oracle Arena on Jan. 15, 2017 in Oakland, Calif.

*BuzzFeed News is preparing a documentary on R. Kelly that will draw from the reporting of its music critic Jim DeRogatis and air exclusively on Hulu, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

The feature film will be based on BuzzFeed’s ongoing coverage of the sex abuse claims brought against Kelly, which began last year when the digital publisher released an in-depth expose from contributor DeRogatis detailing allegations that the singer was abusing and exploiting young black women. It will feature interview with key figures in the story, including survivors of Kelly’s alleged sex cult and the singer’s associates. DeRogatis, who will serve as a consulting producer on the film, will also provide commentary.

BuzzFeed News is producing the project, which is being directed by Lyric Cabral (Terror). Citizenfour director Laura Poitras and her Field of Vision co-founder Charlotte Cook will serve as executive producers. The project was developed by BuzzFeed News’ Linzee Troubh and Shani Hilton.

Allegations of sexual misconduct have dogged Kelly for years. But they had little impact on his career until last year, when DeRogatis, with editing from BuzzFeed News deputy national editor Marisa Carroll, published his expose detailing new abuse and exploitation claims against the singer.

The reporting helped to spur a #MuteRKelly campaign, causing the cancellation of several of his concerts. Earlier this year, the Time’s Up organization called on companies to break off ties with the singer, who denies the allegations. Spotify subsequently banned his music from its curated playlists.

On Tuesday (May 22), Texas woman Faith A. Rodgers filed a lawsuit against Kelly alleging sexual battery, false imprisonment and failure to disclose a sexually transmitted disease.

The BuzzFeed News documentary is one of several Kelly-themed projects in the works. In early May, Lifetime greenlighted a Dream Hampton-produced documentary series and Barbara Marshall-penned TV movie about the singer.

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