Chance The Rapper believes that producing a song with R. Kelly was a “mistake,” he revealed Saturday in a scathing documentary series detailing a litany of sexual assault allegations against the rhythm-and-blues musician.
He tweeted after the quote was reported that his words were “taken out of context,” without further explanation. But he also said that “any of us who ignored the R. Kelly stories were doing so at the detriment of black women and girls.” He also tweeted an apology to all of R. Kelly’s “survivors for working with him and for taking this long to speak out.”
“Making a song with R. Kelly was a mistake,” Chance, whose real name is Chancelor Bennett, said in the final installment of the six-part, three-night series on Lifetime “Surviving R. Kelly,” Rolling Stone reported. The rapper explained to interviewer Jamilah Lemiuex: “I didn’t value the accusers’ stories because they were black women.”
Chance has not provided an alternate explanation for the quote.
Lemieux tweeted minutes after Chance’s tweet that she interviewed the rapper in May and that he was “unequivocally in support of victims.” Her message was retweeted by Chance.
Several women and girls have accused R. Kelly of sexual assault allegedly stretching back nearly two decades. Kelly was acquitted on almost two dozen child pornography charges. He was also accused in 2017 of holding women hostage in a sex cult.
Musician John Legend also appeared in the series to speak out against R. Kelly. He shrugged off praise for stepping up, and said it was an “easy decision.” He tweeted Thursday: “I believe these women and don’t give a fuck about protecting a serial child rapist.”
Detroit author and filmmaker Dream Hampton, who created the series, said it was tough to find musicians willing to discuss allegations against R. Kelly on camera.
“When it comes to celebrities, it was incredibly difficult to get people who had collaborated with Kelly to come forward,” Hampton told the Detroit Free Press.
The documentary was based on some 50 interviews with alleged victims, their families and members of R. Kelly’s inner circle.
Chance revealed last month that he was taking a “sabbatical” to read the Bible.