R. Kelly Arrives In Court For Child Pornography Charges
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‘Surviving R. Kelly' Part 3: Supporters Fail Black Girls In Sex Tape Scandal

The Lifetime documentary series details how Kelly’s methods to conceal his alleged misconduct progressed as he grew more famous. 

Readers note: This recap may be triggering to those who have experienced sexual assault.

By 2000, R. Kelly allegedly continued to seek sexual relationships with teenagers. Meanwhile, his tactics to conceal his actions evolved. In December 2000, Chicago Sun-Times journalists Jim Rogartis and Abdon Pallasch reported on several lawsuits filed against Kelly by families of young girls who accused the singer of sexual misconduct. The singer issued settlements with the families and had them sign non-disclosure agreements. Buying silence was not an issue for the singer. By November 2000, Kelly had released four commercially successful solo albums, including his 2000 opus TP-2.com.

With success, Kelly leveraged control of everyone around him, those in his circles claim. This meant paying employees to be complicit in recruiting more girls. The music industry turned a blind eye because Kelly's music was lucrative. He could afford to hide his actions from his wife and children. His fanbase was loyal to Kelly’s pockets, even after a sex tape, allegedly showed him performing sex acts with an underage girl. His supporters put the genius of his music before the lives of innocent girls at this moment, cultural critics said in part three of the Surviving R. Kelly documentary.

Lisa Van Allen, who met the singer when she was 17, described the origins of the infamous tape. Kelly often filmed sexual acts with Van Allen and other girls, without their permission. One of those girls was singer Sparkle's 14-year-old niece. One day, Kelly allegedly left a bag of his videotapes in a room with Van Allen. While going through the footage, Van Allen saw herself on one of tape. When she fast-forwarded the tape, she said she saw footage of Kelly having sex with Sparkle's niece. On the tape, he urinated on the girl. “I thought it was gross, weird and belittling,” Van Allen expressed.

Demetrius Smith, Kelly’s former tour manager, said Robert recorded his sex acts and would then watch the tapes.

According to clinical psychologist, Dr. Candice Norcott abusers may want trophies, such as a tape, from their criminal acts. "It’s a power play," said Norcott. "You get to actively replay the act and when that’s not enough, you make another tape.”

Van Allen took the tape because she was afraid it would get out. While it was in her possession she asked another artist in Kelly’s camp to hold it. Van Allen later found out that there were copies of the tape made. She told Kelly in hopes that he could stop the tapes from circulating. But it was too late.

An anonymous person dropped off a copy of the tape in Jim Rogartis’ mailbox in 2002. The Chicago Sun-Times contacted Sparkle to confirm the identity of the girl on the footage. “On the tape, my niece had the same hairstyle she had when she turned 14,” Sparkle said. “That was her. For sure. And that was him definitely.” Kelly later denied. In the May 2002 issue of Vibe, Lola Ogunnaike wrote regarding the tape, “Unless R. Kelly has an identical twin from whom he was separated at birth, there’s no doubt that the man featured on the raunchy kid-vid is none other than Mr. 'Bump N’ Grind.'”

The Chicago-Sun Times later notified the police about the tape.

In the months to follow, Sparkle's family estranged her. The singer gave up her career to defend her niece, who some passed off as a “fast girl.”

“Once I came out publicly, yeah there was a lot of blowback,” Sparkle said. “People were unbelieving."

In the meantime, the tape was bootlegged and sold all over the South Side of Chicago and uploaded to pornography sites. Although this was a case of a man — whether it be Kelly or not — sexually abusing a child on the tape, there was no widely felt outrage against the sexual misconduct shown. Instead, the moment became a spectacle and was minimized to a dirty little joke tied to Kelly.

“When someone like R. Kelly gets in trouble," said writer Jamilah Lemieux, "there's this knee-jerk instinct to protect him from the system, from the hands of the law, from all these forces that are at play to make sure that black people, black men, in particular, don’t succeed. We have to stand by him. We have to take care of him. But his crimes were against black women and girls and that was devastating for me.”

Sparkle also felt let down by this pushback. “One young exec stated, I don’t care if that is him on that tape because we can’t afford to lose him," she shared. "You don’t care if it is him on this tape with a young girl. I was like, 'That shows what kind of person you are.'”

Once authorities got involved with the case, Kelly further isolated his wife. He sent Andrea Kelly to a house in Florida while she was pregnant with their third child. He left her in the dark on the details of why. “I was under so much stress that when I went to the OB-GYN, we couldn't find his heartbeat.” Andrea went to the emergency room where they induced her labor.

Shortly after giving birth, Andrea Kelly found out while watching the news that Kelly was indicted on 21 counts of child pornography.  Part four of Lifetime's Surviving R. Kelly reveals how the outcome of the case ended up absolving Kelly of further ridicule.

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‘Chappelle’s Show’ Removed From Netflix At Dave Chappelle’s Request

Chappelle’s Show is no longer streaming on Netflix, at the request of Dave Chappelle. The comedian reached out to the company to ask them to remove the series, for which he received no residuals, and they quickly complied.

On Tuesday (Nov. 24), Chappelle’s posted an Instagram video from a recent stand-up show, called Unforgiven, where he further explained his reasoning for not wanting the Viacom/CBS-owned show to stream on Netflix. “[ViacomCBS] didn’t have to pay me because I signed the contract,” he explained of the sketch comedy show. “But is that right? I found out that these people were streaming my work and they never had to ask me or they never have to tell me. Perfectly legal ‘cause I signed the contract. But is that right? I didn’t think so either.

“That’s why I like working for Netflix,” he continued. “I like working for Netflix because when all those bad things happened to me, that company didn’t even exist. And when I found out they were streaming Chappelle’s Show, I was furious. How could they not– how could they not know? So you know what I did? I called them and I told them that this makes me feel bad. And you want to know what they did? They agreed that they would take it off their platform just so I could feel better.”

Episodes of Chapelle's Show had been streaming on Netflix for about a month. While the showw has been wiped from the streaming outlet, episodes remain on Comedy Central, CBS All Access, and HBO Max.

Watch Chappelle’s full clip below.

 

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50 Cent, Joy Bryant, Nicholas Pinnock Talk New Season Of ABC's 'For Life'

Months after its debut, ABC's For Life has returned for a new season. Based on the true story of Isaac Wright Jr., a former-inmate-turned-lawyer, the drama series' protagonist, Aaron Wallace (Nicholas Pinnock), fights for his freedom and safety in and out of the courtroom while fighting for that of his fellow inmates. As Wallace inches closer to finding substantial evidence to exonerate himself, he reconnects with his ex-wife Marie (Joy Bryant) and pregnant teenage daughter Jasmine (Tyla Harris).

"When I met with Issac, I almost couldn't believe what he was saying to me. He went to jail, became a prison rep, came back created a case law through other people's cases, and worked his way out of jail?" said Curtis "50" Cent" Jackson in a recent interview with VIBE correspondent Jazzie Belle. "You know more people that saw things not going well [in prison] and said I'll take a bad situation before I take the worst situation and cop-out because they know the system will just wash them up and that will be the end of it."

The first season of For Life essentially covers the first 9 years of Wright's experience while in jail. This season, topics like Black Lives Matter and social justice are addressed and Wallace finally reenters society. "There are 5 different Aarons I'm playing," shared British actor Nicholas Pinnock. "One is Aaron who is the prison rep. One is Aaron who is the father and husband to Marie and Jas(mine). One is Aaron with the prison warden and his relationship with her. Another one is Aaron just as an ordinary prisoner. And then you have Aaron the lawyer...and then in Season 2, we have a sixth layer. There's Aaron on the outside."

An unspoken source of strength lies in Marie who has supported and served as a "ride or die" figure in the first season. When asked about addressing those who don't agree with her prior decision to move on to Wallace's friend, Bryant pointed out her character's humanness. "Marie had to make some hard choices when Aaron was sent away. They may not be things that people agree with. 'Oh, she's with his best friend' or whatever, but she was left holding the bag, literally," she pointed out. "Things aren't always so black and white. People have to make decisions based on where they are and what they feel they need to do at the time and everyone can have whatever opinion they want."

Watch VIBE's full interview with Bryant, Pinnock, and Jackson, who also co-executive produces the show. New episodes of For Life premieres Wednesdays at 10 pm ET on ABC.

Interview's music bed provided by Gus.

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‘Black Panther’ Sequel Will Reportedly Begin Filming In Atlanta Next Year

Filming on the highly anticipated sequel to Black Panther is set to begin next summer. Marvel Studios will start shooting the Ryan Coogler-directed sequel in July 2021, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“The series are the priority, “ a source told THR of Marvel’s film strategy going into next year. “Ramping them up takes a lot of focus. The movie machinery is well established.”

The shoot will last at least six months. Princess Shuri, the character played by Letitia Wright, who plays King T’Challa's sister Princess Shuri, could take on an expanded role given the death of Chadwick Boseman.

Narcos: Mexico actor Tenoch Huerta will reportedly join the cast, while Lupita Nyong’o, Angela Bassett and Windsor Duke are also expected to return for the second installment of the Marvel film.

In September, Black Panther’s executive producer Victoria Alonso denied rumors that Boseman would appear in the film via CGI technology. “There's only one Chadwick, and he's not with us,” Alonso said. “Our king, unfortunately, has died in real life, not just in fiction, and we are taking a little time to see how we return to the story and what we do to honor this chapter of what has happened to us that was so unexpected, so painful, so terrible, in reality.”

Boseman, 43, passed away from colon cancer in August.

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