When the Emmy Award nominations were announced this week, Surviving R. Kelly was one of the docuseries recognized in the informational series or special category.
And in a recent interview, dream hampton, the show’s executive producer, admitted that she didn’t expect the documentary to be as impactful as it has been.
“When making the documentary, I didn’t think [the case against Kelly] would be re-litigated. What I’d hoped for was what happened to Sea World after ‘Blackfish’,” she told the Los Angeles Times in an interview. “I wanted people to turn away from him — to stop playing his music at weddings and barbecues, or at least for people to go to the DJ and make them answer to that. I wanted the music industry to answer to that.”
Now the series, released in January, has had more of an impact than she could have imagined.
R. Kelly was indicted with 18 federal charges earlier this month, including allegedly taking underage girls across state lines for sex.
Separate federal indictments were filed in both Chicago and Brooklyn, including child pornography charges, enticement of a minor, obstruction of justice, racketeering, transporting underage girls for sex, and sexual exploitation of a child.
According to Page Six, the federal investigation came about after a Homeland Security agent watched the Lifetime docuseries.
A source told Page Six that the agent was “looking at the victims’ interviews and realized that ‘this is so much bigger than [what] he has previously been charged with.'”
In her interview with the LA Times, hampton says that Kelly has never shown a willingness to change, despite being acquitted in his 2008 trial.
“Between the 2008 trials and now, there were more [alleged] victims. This is not a man who was willing to face his [alleged] crimes and face his sickness. He wasn’t interested in restorative justice — look at that performance with Gayle King,” she said, referencing Kelly’s infamous interview with the CBS This Morning host.
“We’d be living in a different country if men said, ‘I did terrible things and I don’t want to be that man anymore, I want to not be an abusive person anymore.’ Instead of gaslighting us, that would have gone a lot further than any conviction to healing in this country.”