Buzzfeed News turns R. Kelly's cult allegations into a documentary.
R. Kelly’s life would make for good TV, even though the allegations are hard to stomach.
Buzzfeed News is joining forces with the subscription video on demand service Hulu, to put out a sexual abuse documentary film about R. Kelly.
This probably comes as no surprise, since longtime music critic and journalist Jim DeRogatis has been on the singer’s trail since last year. He broke the first piece for the media out called R. Kelly Is Holding Women Against Their Will In A “Cult,” Parents Told Police, in July 2017, and has since broke a series of reports, mainly of women who have come forth admitting to underaged sexual relations with the "I believe I can fly” singer.
According to Variety, the R. Kelly documentary will be "directed by Lyric R. Cabral, Oscar-winner Laura Poitras and Charlotte Cook will serve as executive producers. The project was developed by Linzee Troubh, Shani Hilton, and Cindy Vanegas-Gesuale of BuzzFeed News, which is producing."
We must say, though, that BuzzFeed is a bit late to hop on the gravy train. BBC took the first stab with their documentary, R Kelly: Sex, Girls and Videotapes, made by British journalist and filmmaker Ben Zand. And, soon after, as part of the relaunch of its Stop Violence Against Women campaign, Lifetime announced it would release its own documentary series and movie, focusing on women who say they’ve been abused by R. Kelly.
These allegations have been going on for decades. VIBE was the first media outlet to break the story about R. Kelly’s marriage to the then-15-year-old Aaliyah, presenting an illegal marriage certificated. On it, the late singer claimed to be 18. In 2002 he was indicted on multiple counts of child pornography (before he was later acquitted). But the singer has never been convicted of a crime.
There is definitely a need to address the accusations against R. Kelly, however, with so many documentaries coming to light, are these media outlets here simply to cash in on the artist's demise?