R. Kelly Documentary From BuzzFeed in Development at Hulu
Based on the reporting of music critic Jim DeRogatis, the feature film will explore the sex abuse allegations leveled against the singer.
R. Kelly will be the subject of a new film at Hulu.
BuzzFeed News is developing a feature documentary for Hulu that will explore the sexual abuse allegations leveled against the singer.
The film will be based on BuzzFeed's ongoing coverage of the claims brought against Kelly, which began last year when the digital publisher released an in-depth expose from contributor Jim DeRogatis detailing allegations that Kelly was abusing and exploiting young black women. It will feature interview with key figures in the story, including survivors of Kelly's alleged sex cult and the singer's associates. DeRogatis, who will serve as a consulting producer on the film, will also provide commentary.
BuzzFeed News is producing the project, which is being directed by Lyric Cabral (Terror). Citizenfour director Laura Poitras and her Field of Vision co-founder Charlotte Cook will serve as executive producers. The project was developed by BuzzFeed News' Linzee Troubh and Shani Hilton.
Allegations of sexual misconduct have dogged Kelly for years. But they had little impact on his career until last year, when DeRogatis, with editing from BuzzFeed News deputy national editor Marisa Carroll, published his expose detailing new abuse and exploitation claims against the singer. The reporting helped to spur a #MuteRKelly campaign, causing the cancellation of several of his concerts. Earlier this year, the Time's Up organization put their voice behind the movement, calling on companies to break off ties with the singer, who denies the allegations. Spotify subsequently banned his music from its curated playlists.
On Tuesday, Texas woman Faith A. Rodgers filed a lawsuit against Kelly alleging sexual battery, false imprisonment and failure to disclose a sexually transmitted disease.
The BuzzFeed News project is one of several Kelly-centric projects currently in the works. In early May, Lifetime greenlighted a Dream Hampton-produced documentary series and Barbara Marshall-penned TV movie about the singer.
The series is part of BuzzFeed's efforts to bulk up its film and television output. The publisher, which recently signed with WME, is also producing a shortform weekly series, Follow This, for Netflix and docuseries Unspeakable Crime: The Killing of Jessica Chambers for Oxygen.
Hulu, meanwhile, has been branching out beyond its scripted TV focus with a Fyre Festival docuseries developed by Billboard (a sister company to The Hollywood Reporter) and documentary films Tiny Shoulders: Rethinking Barbie and Becoming Bond.