Banff: 'Surviving R. Kelly' Producers to Talk Power of Lifetime Docuseries (Exclusive)

SURVIVING R. KELLY-Publicity Still-Embed- 2019
Courtesy of Lifetime

Parents of one of R. Kelly’s victims in Lifetime’s Surviving R. Kelly.

The infamous R&B singer largely survived the #MeToo movement, until the explosive Lifetime documentary series had a viral debut.

The Lifetime documentary series Surviving R. Kelly, which traces R. Kelly's history of alleged abuse of young girls, sparked record ratings for the cable network, an avalanche of online and cable news conversations, and criminal investigations that resulted in the sex-crimes case now surrounding the R&B singer.

The series' executive producers Brie Miranda Bryant, Dream Hampton and Tamra Simmons withstood pushback and denials from the singer after they revealed accusations that he had systematically assaulted, brainwashed and degraded both teenage girls and adult women throughout his career. Kelly has since been charged with sexually abusing four people, including three underage girls, dating back to 1998.

Now, at the upcoming Banff World Media Festival, the trio of Surviving R. Kelly producers will be joined by survivor and author Kitti Jones to offer the inside story on how their six-part documentary — using historical footage, expert interviews and survivor testimonies — changed the Kelly conversation overnight, effectively halting his career.

"Surviving R. Kelly has been much more than a documentary. It has become a powerful catalyst that is igniting global conversation," Brie Miranda Bryant, senior vp unscripted programming and development at Lifetime, said in a statement. “Our intention has been, and will remain, to always provide a platform for these women to be heard. And speaking at this June’s Banff allows us to amplify their voices further."

Kelly has denied all allegations of sexual misconduct involving women and underage girls, but the Lifetime series helped to further ignite the grassroots #MuteRKelly campaign on social media, which helped pressure streaming services, concert promoters and eventually his Sony music label to drop the artist.

"Surviving R. Kelly highlights the power of media and the industry's responsibility to use the global platform we have to advance important conversations, and to effect social and political change," Banff's executive director Jenn Kuzmyk said in her own statement.

The Banff World Media Festival will take place June 9-12 in the Canadian Rockies.