Friday, 22nd September 2023

11 Celebrities And What They Said About “Surviving R. Kelly”

By Akinwale Akinyoade
10 January 2019   |   2:00 pm
Mixed reactions have trailed the release of Lifetime's docuseries "Surviving R. Kelly" about embattled singer, R. Kelly with many celebrities sharing their thoughts. After "Surviving R. Kelly" aired, there was a lot of outrage with much vocal criticism on social media as fellow recording artists, TV personalities and actors all took a stand against the performer after the special's troubling allegations.…

Mixed reactions have trailed the release of Lifetime’s docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly” about embattled singer, R. Kelly with many celebrities sharing their thoughts.

After “Surviving R. Kelly” aired, there was a lot of outrage with much vocal criticism on social media as fellow recording artists, TV personalities and actors all took a stand against the performer after the special’s troubling allegations.

From stars like Omarion, Ne-Yo, Keke Palmer, and Jada Pinkett Smith, many are lending their voices to the #MuteRKelly movement. Below is a rundown of prominent names who have spoken out and share a thing or two about it.

Matthew Knowles

Beyonce’s father, Matthew Knowles in a chat with Metro about why Destiny’s Child did not work with R. Kelly in the ’90s said,

“I was there, and my former wife Tina was there. The thing with R Kelly was, he liked to record late at night, around midnight. And what was different with his studio was that one room had a recording suite, and next door was a club, with 40 or 50 people dancing. R. Kelly was managed by Sony, by someone I won’t name, and at that time, they would almost force you to record with [their] artists. And R. Kelly wasn’t cheap — it was $75,000, plus travel costs, so we’re talking $100,000 for a song. I personally rejected the song, because I didn’t think it was a good song. Not just because of [his] reputation — this was around 1998, we had just begun to hear some of those things.”

On whether Kelly’s rumors played a role in his future decisions, Knowles said, “certainly, it was both of those things.”

“The girls were 15, 16. When they went to the bathroom, Tina would go with them. They did not leave our eyes.”

Keke Palmer

25-year-old Keke Palmer is one of the many young stars who has worked Kelly at a younger age and she spoke out against him early Wednesday morning on Instagram, writing,

“Just finished Surviving R. Kelly and I have spent the last hour crying. As a student of R. Kelly’s for the time I was and having been around his light and understanding the obstacles he overcame as a child to actually be birthed into the musical genius he is today… All to put others through the same darkness he was running from is the most disheartening thing to accept. Many people experience hardships and do not allow themselves to find freedom through their passion enough to shine a light. R. Kelly received that grace from God. God blessed him to vindicate his childhood shortcomings and yet still he has slapped God in the face by his actions towards these women. I am hurt and saddened because he could have been a blessing to these women but instead he repeatedly took advantage and that I can not accept. I will stand by my sisters because that’s simply what’s right and what I hope discontinues this behavior in anyone. We have to be good to each other, not all of us accept the light but those of us that do must be responsible!!!! We can not take advantage of each other or accept when someone else does.”

Chrissy Teigen

Supermodel and the famous wife of John Legend, Teigen who appeared in “Surviving R. Kelly,” also hopped aboard the #MuteRKelly movement on Twitter. She tweeted,

“I just finished it as well. Proud of John but so in awe of the strength and courage of the women involved, who survived and told their stories. I wish I could be as eloquent as John but – fuck R Kelly. #MuteRKelly”


The rapper posted a lengthy thread of comments on Sunday night saying he felt “compelled to voice my position” on Kelly since the performer has written songs for B2K. He called out everyone who bore witness “to the unthinkable and yet have remained silent” and saying “those responsible must be held accountable.” While B2K will continue to play songs written by Kelly on their already-announced tour, Omarion promised to retire them from his setlist for good after.

Jada Pinkett Smith

The Hollywood actress who is married to Will Smith expressed her confusion about reports that R. Kelly’s music witnessed a spike after the airing of the docuseries. asking her followers to explain why this was happening. She wrote,

“I really don’t want to believe it’s because black girls don’t matter enough, or is that the reason?”

She promised to continue the conversation on Wednesday, January 9 on Facebook.

Chance The Rapper

Another celebrity who made an appearance on the series is Chance the Rapper and according to him, his quote on the show was “taken out of context.” During one episode, he said,

“Maybe I didn’t care because I didn’t value the accusers’ stories because they were black women.” After the show aired, he tweeted, “the truth is any of us who ever ignored the R. Kelly stories, or ever believed he was being setup/attacked by the system (as black men often are) were doing so at the detriment of black women and girls.”

He also apologized to the survivors.

Kerry Washington

She took to Instagram to share her thoughts and her post was re-posted by Octavia Spencer who added, “In solidarity with my sisters.”

Asides Instagram, she also had a Twitter post where she expressed her pleasure that “Surviving R. Kelly” was the #1 trending topic on the social media platform.

Leslie Jones

According to her tweet, after watching the “Surviving R. Kelly” series, if she had a daughter, she would never post her picture. See her tweet below:


The songstress also had a series of tweets after she watched the docuseries. Find them below,

Meek Mill

The Philadelphia rapper also took to Twitter and wrote,

John Legend

The “All of Me” hitmaker is also another celebrity who made an appearance on the series and he had this to say on Twitter after he received praise for speaking out,

Some other celebrities who have also spoken out include The Tank, Kathy Griffin, Lady Gaga, Yvette Nicole Brown, Future as well as Nigeria’s Georgina Onuoha and former beauty queen Ihuoma Nnadi-Emenike.

It is noteworthy that although allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse of women and underage girls have plagued Kelly for years, he has continued to maintain his innocence and has never been convicted of any wrongdoing. Prior to Lifetime airing the series, he threatened to sue the network for painting him bad. Lifetime however ignored his threat of legal action and went ahead to air the series.

In the wake of the release of the series, reports have it that Kelly and his team have launched a web series that already has a Facebook page, “Surviving Lies” to discredit his alleged victims and tell his own story.

In this article