In one of the most heartfelt moments of the evening, R. Kelly’s accusers stood together, held hands and shed tears at Monday night’s MTV Movie & TV Awards.
The women gathered on stage at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, Calif., after Surviving R. Kelly won the best documentary award. The Lifetime docuseries beat several other critically-acclaimed docs, including RBJ, Minding the Gap, McQueen, and At the Heart of Gold: Inside the USA Gymnastics Scandal.
“This isn’t just a trophy to us because this really speaks to the cultural impact that was generated from this documentary,” Lifetime’s Senior Vice President of Unscripted Development and Programming, Brie Miranda Bryant, said while accepting the award.
[Watch the video below]
“Fifty four individuals sat to tell this story,” she continued. “Survivors walked through the fire and then stood again to tell this story, and parents shared the hell that they still stand in to tell this story.”
Bryant was joined on stage by some of the accusers who spoke out in the series, including Asante McGee, Lisa Van Allen, Lizzette Martinez and Faith Rodgers. Some of the women bowed their heads as the Lifetime exec spoke.
“Because of your courage you created change and you survived, so thank you,” Bryant said to the women.
— MTV (@MTV) June 18, 2019
Surviving R. Kelly addressed claims that R&B singer R. Kelly had sex with underage girls, abused his ex-wife,
held women as sex slaves in Chicago and Atlanta and kept them away from their families.
The six-part docuseries premiered on Jan. 3, prompting protests outside the singer’s record label, demands that radio stations stop playing his music, and calls for Kelly to face jail time.
The singer has repeatedly denied the allegations, and in a March interview with CBS This Morning anchor Gayle King, he said the accusers “are lying.”
“If you really look at that documentary, which I’m sure you have, everybody says something bad about me. Nobody said nothing good,” he stated.
Despite his denials, fallout from the docuseries has continued.
In February, the Grammy-winning performer was charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse involving four females, including three minors. He pleaded not guilty.
Then on May 30, Kelly was hit with 11 new sex-related felony counts involving one of the women who accused him earlier this year of sexually abusing her when she was underage.
The singer pleaded not guilty to those counts as well.