Questlove on why he declined to appear in Lifetime’s R. Kelly docuseries
Questlove is one of several celebrities, including Erykah Badu and Lady Gaga, who declined to appear in Lifetime’s R. Kelly documentary because he didn’t want to come off as “messy” or a stan of the R&B hitmaker.
“I always thought Kels was trash. My reason for declining the RKelly docu that I support 10000000 percent is I didn’t wanna be in the ‘good times’ portion of the doc, like stanning for his ‘genius,’” the Roots drummer wrote in a since-deleted tweet (via Vibe).
“I was asked to talk about his genius. I do not nor have I EVER stanned for him.”
Lifetime’s six-part Surviving R. Kelly docuseries premiered Thursday night with the final chapter airing tonight (Dec. 5) at 9 pm ET/PT. The series details how the singer has allegedly been abusing underage girls for the past two decades.
In an interview with Shadow and Act, executive producer dream hampton explained why she believes celebrities – aside from John Legend – refused to sit down for an interview about the controversial artist.
“John Legend was the only one,” she told site. “I asked Jay-Z, I asked Mary J. Blige, I asked Lil Kim, Erykah Badu, Dave Chappelle … I mean, most people just don’t want to touch it. 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.”
Questlove’s tweets wanted to make clear that he does not support Kelly.
“Just wanna make that abundantly clear in a non ‘he doth protest too much’ way. That [dream hampton] quote makes it look like I’m protecting him,” he wrote in another tweet. “I’m thinking ‘damn I don’t wanna be the one guy I always am in documentaries fawning over someone I detest.’ So make ZERO mistake on my positioning.”
Hampton fired back at his explanation, responding, “I didn’t ask you about his ‘Genius.’ I asked you to come on camera and say the same thing you said on Twitter. I told you I need Black male allies.”
Questlove deleted his tweets following the response. Hampton also noted: “That makes John Legend even more of a hero for me.” The Grammy-winning artist is also being praised on social media for his “courageous’ decision to appear in the project. Legend posted a series of tweets shortly before the first episode aired Thursday night.
“We should all thank my friend @dreamhampton for her very necessary work to create #SurvivingRKelly. These survivors deserved to be lifted up and heard. I hope it gets them closer to some kind of justice. … To everyone telling me how courageous I am for appearing in the doc, it didn’t feel risky at all. I believe these women and don’t give a f— about protecting a serial child rapist. Easy decision. … Also I’m happy to support the work of people like my friends at @ALongWalkHome who have been speaking out on behalf of the survivors for a long time.”
Kelly, meanwhile, continues to deny the more than 25 years of sexual abuse accusations from multiple women.