Having money and power can be both a gift and a curse. As a powerful mogul, there is the opportunity for change and improvement or there is the opportunity for exploitation and abuse. In the case of Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey and R Kelly, they have opted for the latter. The BBC documentary, “R KELLY: SEX, GIRLS & VIDEOTAPES” aims to raise awareness of the sexual allegations being made against R Kelly.
If you’re not aware of R Kelly, he is described as an R&B legend in the documentary. As an R&B enthusiast, I have grown up listening to his music and thoroughly enjoying his songs. You may be familiar with some of his hit songs, “I Believe I Can Fly”, “Bump n’ Grind”, “Ignition” and “Cookie”.
In his songs, R Kelly is almost always singing about women and sex and while this is a running theme in the R&B genre, it is disturbing to learn R Kelly’s perverse attitude towards women.
According to the documentary, he is running an active sex cult in his mansion in Atlanta where he refers to the women as his “pets”, and he acts on his strong attraction to underage girls.
The documentary is lead by Ben Zand, the BBC journalist, interviews several sources who were close to R Kelly. Therefore, the rumours and speculations were now being supported by testimonies from former “pets” that were part of R Kelly’s sex cult, people who have worked alongside him and even his two brothers.
What surprises the viewers and Ben Zand the most is the level of honesty and openness that comes from some of the sources. Some brand R Kelly a paedophile and a predator, whereas others subtly hint at his issue with underage girls and his attitude towards women.
Their containment owes to their loyalty to R Kelly, preventing them from speaking outright as others do.
While R Kelly has succeeded in the past silencing those around him from exposing his secrets, this BBC documentary functions to raise awareness of sexual abuse in the entertainment industry and shed light on R Kelly’s sexual transgressions. “R Kelly: Sex, Girls & Videotapes” altered my perception and opinion of R Kelly, which I cannot and will not ignore.
Although we cannot remove R Kelly’s title as an R&B legend, we can certainly give him another title; predator.
- Aired on BBC3, March 28 2018.