Questlove Explains Why He Didn't Participate in R. Kelly Docuseries

"I always thought Kels was trash."


Image via Getty/Johnny Nunez/WireImage


Questlove has sent a clear message: He is not, in any way, trying to protect alleged sexual predator R. Kelly.

The Roots member faced mild backlash this week for declining to appear in Surviving R. Kelly—a Lifetime docuseries centered on Kelly's mounting sexual abuse allegations. Executive producer/showrunner, dream hampton, recently told Shadow and Act that a number of prominent artists had turned down interviews for six-part series. hampton previously said her team reached out to celebrities who had either collaborated with the disgraced R&B star or who were critical of him.

"John Legend was the only one [who particapted]," hampton told Shadow and Act. "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."

Fans immediately took to social media to express their disappoint in Questlove's noncooperation, with some accusing the drummer of supporting Kelly; however, Questlove insists that is not the case.

"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,'" Questlove wrote on Twitter. "I was asked to talk about his genius. I do not nor have I EVER stanned for him"

He continued: "Just wanna make that abundantly clear in a non 'he doth protest too much' way. That [hampton] quote makes it look like I'm protecting him. 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."

Questlove deleted the tweets shortly after hampton responded:

Questlove said he was approached to talk about the “Genius” of R Kelly. He didn’t want to that’s why he declined to take part in the 3 part documentary. The Director of the documentary Dream Hampton tweeted this though..... and Quest deleted his tweet 😫 @tymusic @Trinajc_

— Funk Butcher (@FunkButcher) January 3, 2019

Surviving R. Kelly premieres Thursday night on Lifetime and will continue Friday and Saturday. 

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