John Legend revealed his personal reasons for taking part in Surviving R. Kelly.
John Legend and his wife, model Chrissy Teigen, appeared on Bravo’s What What Happens Live with Andy Cohen Thursday to play games and answer questions. One of the more serious questions of the night came from a caller who wanted to know why Legend spoke out against R. Kelly.
“The reason why I did it is, I’m friends with the director, dream hampton, and I respect her work a lot,” he said. “Another reason is that I have good friends who were a part of the R. Kelly movement. They were rape victims in Chicago. I knew that I could lend my voice to these people who have been hurt.”
Legend was the only one of hampton’s collaborators to heed her call to join the docuseries. As she told Shadow and Act’s Brooke Obie before the docuseries aired, “I asked Jay-Z, I asked Mary J. Blige, I asked Lil Kim, Erykah Badu, Dave Chappelle…” she said, adding that they all refused. “I mean, most peopel 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.”
Legend also addressed why others might not have wanted to take part in the docuseries when answering questions on Watch What Happens Live.
“I don’t want to cast any aspersions on people because everyone has their own reasons for not doing something,” he said. “I get asked to be on documentaries all the time. It’s not because I don’t agree with the premise of the documentary that I don’t do it, but there are all kinds of reasons you don’t do it.”