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Surviving R. Kelly may have won best documentary during the MTV Movie & TV Awards, which aired Monday night, but the team and survivors felt the show’s “cultural impact” was worth celebrating more.
After winning the award, Lifetime senior vp unscripted development and programming Brie Miranda Bryant was joined onstage by Lisa Van Allen, Lizzette Martinez and Faith Rodgers.
“This isn’t just a trophy to us, because this really speaks to the important cultural impact that this generated,” said Bryant. “To our survivors and parents, we know the journey does not start or stop with this documentary, but the world is listening now. Because of your bravery, other girls and boys and women and men are now speaking without shame and being heard without judgment.”
She added: “Because of your courage, you created change, and you survived. So thank you.”
With the crowd applauding, the survivors grew visibly emotional. Though only a few were onstage, the series featured 54 people speaking about alleged acts of abuse by the R&B singer.
Surviving R. Kelly drew a big audience for Lifetime, averaging 2.1 million viewers for its initial airing and growing on each of the three nights it aired. More than 26 million people have seen at least a portion of the documentary, according to the network. Following the documentary’s success, the network announced in April that it will have a follow-up special, Surviving R. Kelly: The Impact. The follow-up will examine how the three-part series, which aired in January, affected the conversation about sexual violence and popular culture at large.
The 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards are currently streaming on MTV.com and across all social media platforms, with Shazam! star Zachary Levi hosting.
“Survivors walked through the fire and then stood again to tell this story.”
— Movie & TV Awards (@MTVAwards) June 18, 2019
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