The highly anticipated Lifetime series Surviving R. Kelly features many individuals who were once close to the R&B singer speaking about the allegations of rape, abuse and child molestation Kelly faces. While John Legend was lauded for his take on the situation, radio host Lenard McKelvey (aka Charlamagne Tha God) was derided online after appearing in the documentary.
As Billboard reports, Charlamagne has been accused of rape himself, and viewers took to social media to ask why a man accused of such severe sexual misconduct was invited to speak about the allegations against Kelly.
.@cthagod got his ass on #SurvivingRKelly acting like he is an ally and been at the forefront of addressing R. Kelly's sexual abuse...— Ernest Owens (@MrErnestOwens) January 6, 2019
But he still found it funny to complement him on having the "best celebrity sex tape of all time" -- the one where he urinated on a 14 year old. pic.twitter.com/tk1bZO7PzH
Users resurfaced tweets The Breakfast Club host fired off around eight years ago joking about Kelly. In one tweet dated back to November 2010, the host wrote, "R. Kelly had the best celebrity sex tape of all time." In another, he tweeted, "R. Kelly looks 20 something. The fountain of youth can clearly be found within teenage vagina."
WAIT WAIT WAIT!!!!— Darnell Lamont Walker (@writer_heathen) January 6, 2019
They gave Charlamagne Tha God airtime to speak out AGAINST R. Kelly, even after he details on air how he raped a woman in Myrtle Beach, SC?!
HOW HOW HOW!?!?!?!?!
Why is He not added to the list of perpetrators?! @lifetimetv
Other users referenced Charlamagne's on-camera discussions of consent and abuse. As Consequence of Sound notes, the host seemed to condone physical violence against women in an interview with DJ Vlad, and as The Daily Beast reports, when the host discussed his first sexual encounter with his wife on air, he said she told him when she looked at the it "in hindsight," he raped her.
Charlamagne was formally accused of rape in 2001 when a woman came forward with allegations that he sexually assaulted her when she was only 15 years old. He was 22 at the time of the attack and pleaded guilty to the delinquency of a minor. After submitting his guilty plea, Charlamagne was sentenced to three years probation.
Surviving R. Kelly executive producer dream hampton caught wind of the criticism and posted a response to her personal feed on Saturday. In her tweet, the former music critic said she was unaware of Charlamagne's past tweets, and she called the decision to interview him a " huge mistake."
I’m just seeing Charlamagne’s 2010 tweet tonight. I interviewed him before the story abt him broke but should have cut him altogether, rather than limit his appearance. It was a huge mistake. I prob spent more time arguing to cut Bruce. Again, mistake. #SurvivingRKelly— dream hampton (@dreamhampton) January 6, 2019
When asked by viewers why she opted to profile him in the first place, she said Charlamagne had been one of R. Kelly's critics for some time.
He was asked because he’s been so clear and vocal with his criticism and condemnation of R Kelly. He was interviewed before the story abt him broke. I tweeted an apology a few mins ago explaining I didn’t see his old tweets until I was tagged with them tonight. https://t.co/Ixm5akQyOR— dream hampton (@dreamhampton) January 6, 2019
In her interview with Shadow & Act, hampton revealed she had trouble getting celebrities associated by Kelly to speak on camera, noting Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige and Dave Chappelle refused to participate in the series.
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