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Jay-Z. Erykah Badu & Others Declined Lifetime’s R. Kelly Doc, Producer Says

Lady Gaga, Mary J. Blige, Dave Chappelle & more also turned down Lifetime’s documentary.

Lifetime’s documentary, Surviving R. Kelly finally airs tonight. Over the past few months, there’s been a lot of conversation surrounding the docu-series, especially since more allegations have surfaced in the past few years. The docuseries includes interviews with Kelly’s ex-wife Andrea Kelly and Kitti Jones — two women who’ve spoken out against the alleged abuse they received from the singer. Although John Legend agreed to be interviewed for the docuseries, executive producer dream hampton revealed that some of Kellz’ biggest collaborators declined to speak on the matter.

Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

In an interview with Detroit Free Press, hampton revealed that he reached out to Jay-Z, Questlove, Erykah Badu and Dave Chappelle to appear in the documentary, among others, but they all declined.

“When it comes to celebrities, It was incredibly difficult to get people who had collaborated (artistically) with Kelly to come forward. We asked Lady Gaga. We asked Erykah Badu. We asked Celine Dion. We asked Jay-Z. We asked Dave Chappelle,” he said. “(They’re) people who have been critical of him. That makes John Legend even more of a hero for me.”

Questlove was also approached about being in the docu-series, but hampton revealed most people didn’t want to do it because it’s “messy.”

“I mean, most people just don’t want to touch it,” he said. “I remember Ahmir [“Questlove” Thompson] was like, ‘I would do anything for you but I can’t do this.’ It’s not because they support him, it’s because it’s so messy and muddy. It’s that turning away that has allowed this to go on.” 

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