The two-hour special, titled Surviving R. Kelly: The Impact will be hosted by award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien, and will focus on the original docuseries’ global and cultural impact, how it boosted the conversation surrounding sexual violence, and what it means to be a survivor.
Surviving R. Kelly debuted in early January 2019, spurring conversation around the world. According to Deadline, phone calls to sexual assault hotlines surged by 35 percent, #MuteRKelly activists were inspired to successfully protest for Kelly’s label to drop him, and more women came forward to reveal abuse allegations. Around two months after the docuseries aired, the Cook County State Attorney’s office charged Kelly with 10 felony counts of aggravated sexual assault, involving four victims and covering a 10-year time span. He was ultimately arrested.
The new special will include footage from the docuseries and continue the ongoing discussion on Kelly through interviews with journalists, legal experts, non-profit organizations, and psychologists. The Impact will also take a look at Kelly’s shocking interview with Gayle King, as well as the women who have stood by Kelly’s side.
Deadline reports that more than 26 million people have seen the original docuseries, which has received the 2019 L.A. Press Club President’s Award for Impact on Media. This month, showrunner dream hampton was also named one of Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People.
Surviving R. Kelly: The Impact will premiere on May 4 at 10 p.m. ET on Lifetime.