Lifetime said today that it is relaunching its public-affairs campaign Stop Violence Against Women to raise awareness of abusive behaviors, and the first projects will be a documentary series and movie from Kreativ Inc. focusing on women who say they’ve been abused by R. Kelly.
The controversial R&B star has a history of alleged abuse of underage African-American girls that largely has been unreported by mainstream media until recently. The series and untitled feature will focus on women who are emerging from the shadows to share their stories.
“What we’ve seen — in the last year in particular — is the tremendous power of women’s voices when given the opportunity to share their truth,” said Brie Miranda Bryant, SVP Unscripted Development and Programming at Lifetime. “But there are important stories still untold, stories of bravery, resilience and defiance that demand to be heard. This is one of those stories.”
The documentary series is an investigation into one of the popular singer. Lifetime notes that his genre-defining career and playboy lifestyle have been riddled with rumors of abuse, predatory behavior and pedophilia. Despite damning evidence and multiple witnesses, to date, none of these accusations seems to have affected him. For the first time, survivors and people from Kelly’s inner circle are coming forward with new allegations about his sexual, mental and physical abuse. They finally are ready to share their full story and shed light on the secret life the public has never seen.
“We’ve been working for over a year to bring forth the stories of these women,” said Joel Karsberg, executive producer and CEO of production company Kreativ. “We are proud to team with Lifetime to shed light on these stories as well as an industry that has looked the other way for so many years.”
Both of Lifetime’s Kelly projects are executive produced by Kreativ’s Karsberg and Jesse Daniels. Dream hampton is an executive producer on the documentary series, along with Brie Miranda Bryant from Lifetime. Ilene Kahn Power serves as an executive producer on the movie and Barbara Marshall is writing the script.
In 2002, Lifetime launched the Stop Violence Against Women campaign, bringing together leading advocacy organizations, women directly affected by violence and political leaders for a Special Congressional Women’s Caucus Briefing in Washington DC, and placed a national spotlight on ending violence with on-air, online and in the halls of power, the vast problems of domestic violence and sexual assault. Now, 16 years later, Lifetime will once again bring the issue to the forefront as time’s up on predatory behavior and provide women a platform to share their stories, especially for women of color.