R Kelly Appears In Court in Chicago For Status Hearing
Singer R. Kelly appears during a hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse on September 17, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois.
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'Surviving R. Kelly, Part II' Episode 5 Recap: What Will Happen To Azriel Clary And Joycelyn Savage?

In the last installment, the Clarys and the Savages share their continued attempts to rescue their daughters.

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

According to #MuteRKelly co-founder Oronike Odeleye, the movement launched in 2017 was born out of the Savages' work to save their daughter Joycelyn from the R&B singer’s control.

“Just seeing their anguish and their pain really inspired me to act,” Odeleye said in the final installment of Surviving R. Kelly Part II.

Last night’s episode covered the Savages' and Clarys’ additional attempts to make contact with their daughters since the first documentary aired. Viewers also heard heartbreaking stories from the women’s siblings.

Shortly after Joycelyn Savage and Azriel Clary’s Gayle King interview in March 2019, R. Kelly’s public relations team contacted the Savages and set up a call between Joycelyn and her family. When she got on the line, Joycelyn was immediately defensive. “I have told you guys a million times that I’m okay where I am and that I’m happy,” she said.

Jonjelyn Savage had her youngest daughter Jori speak to Joy as a tactic to break through to her because survivor Jerhonda Pace told them that Kelly hadn’t trained them to speak against children. Joycelyn broke away from her script and told her sister she loved her. But the call ended abruptly without her saying much else. Her mother likened the interaction to a prison call.

The follow-up documentary also dived deeper into the specific tactics Kelly used to lure Joycelyn Savage. After meeting her at a show, Kelly promised her he was going to help sign Savage to Sony Records. Songwriter Antonio Booze who was working with Joycelyn at the time was with her when she first contacted Kelly on the phone. Kelly was promising to fly her out. Joycelyn wanted to bring a friend, but none were available. She then mentioned bringing Booze with her.

“She told me that he was saying something like…‘I feel uncomfortable because he’s a songwriter and I feel uncomfortable with him being in the room considering that we both do the same thing,’” he said.

Joycelyn went alone to Oklahoma and when she came back she shared with Booze that R. Kelly had coerced her into having sex with him.

He said that she continued to see Kelly without her parents knowing. After her father found out that she had sex with Kelly, he told her that she needed to focus on school and to stop doing music. Joycelyn eventually moved out of her dorm and stopped contacting her family.

On July 11, 2019, the Savages went to Trump Tower in Chicago to get a glimpse of their daughter, Joycelyn. Her younger sister Jailyn called the police to do a wellness check. But Joy, as her family calls her, wasn’t at the Trump Tower.

Like the Savages, Azriel Clary’s family have made their own attempts to reach Azriel Clary. Her bother Armani Clary and his mother Alice Clary went to the R. Kelly concert in Tampa, Florida, in November 2018. While there, they spotted Azriel on stage. Armani said his mother made her way to the stage as other women in the crowd got invited up. She attempted to grab Azriel but their plan was blocked by R. Kelly’s security guards who grabbed and put her mother in a headlock.

“Security put us right in the hands of the police officers who then put handcuffs on all of us,” Armani said.

Angelo Clary and Alice Clary’s 25-year marriage has also crumbled and Armani doesn’t believe the family can truly come together until Azriel is safe again.

The families hope Kelly goes away so that these reunions will happen soon. On July 11, 2019, a federal grand jury indicted R. Kelly on 13 counts including child pornography, enticement of a minor and obstruction of justice. His trial dates are set for April in Chicago, and May in Chicago. As the documentary comes to a close, cultural critics said the breadth and depth of this case should be a cautionary tale about what happens when we choose to protect male celebrities over women’s safety.

Kimberly M. Foxx, Cook County State Attorney, said everyone has to do their part to remove shame from reporting sexual assault. Sexual abuse and sexual assault are still one of the most underreported crimes for that reason, she said.

“The biggest evidence is not a forensic kit,” said Foxx. “It’s your memory. It’s your willingness to put yourself out there and talk about the most traumatic thing that’s happened to you.”

Foxx continued to say that the process for a survivor reporting an incident starts before you get to the prosecutor or enter the courtroom and it begins when you need to tell a parent, police officer, nurse, doctor or a social worker.

“So I think our system has not been operating in a compassionate way that welcomes those who have these experiences to come without the fear of being retraumatized,” she concluded.

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The Game Reboot Lands At Paramount+ Streaming Service

A revival of the BET’s The Game is officially in development under the ViacomCBS digital subscription streaming service Paramount+, which was originally branded as CBS All Access.

The series reboot was announced on Tuesday (Sept. 15), along with a list of original and rebooted shows headed for the streaming outlet which includes a limited series chronicling the making of The Godfather, a new edition of VH1’s Behind the Music, and the true crime docuseries, The Real Criminal Minds. The programming will join CBS All Access’ list of more than 20,000 episodes and movies across BET, MTV, CBS, Comedy Central, Paramount Pictures, Nickelodeon, and more.

Although no details have been released about The Game revival, the series will fall under BET’s Paramount+ programming from CBS Television Studios and Garment Productions. It’s unclear if any of the show's original cast members like, Tia Mowry, Pooch Hall, and Wendy Raquel Robinson, will be involved in the new installment.

The hit sports series was created by Mara Brock Akil, as a spinoff of her other hit sitcom, Girlfriends. Akil recently inked an overall deal with Netflix to develop new projects for the streamer. The company also acquired the rights to Girlfriends, Sister, Sister, Moesha, and The Parkers.

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50 Cent Developing Starz Series About Beef With The Game

Add a couple more credits to 50 Cent’s long list of TV projects. The rapper-turned-TV-producer inked a deal to develop two new series for Starz, one of which will explore his feud with The Game, the cable network announced on Monday (Sept. 14).

The seasonal anthology series tentatively titled, Moment in Time: The Massacre, chronicles “true stories in which iconic hip hop moments collided with the sensational and sometimes criminal events behind the scenes.” Season one focuses on the beef between Fif and Game that “led to an all-street war, pitting G-Unit against music impresario Jimmy Henchman.”

Henchman, The Game’s former manager, is currently serving life for the murder-for-hire of a G-Unit affiliate. Moment in Time will be written and executive produced by Abdul William, who penned The Bobby Brown Story, The New Edition Story, Lottery Ticket, and Lifetime’s forthcoming Salt-N-Pepa mini series.

Inspired by the life of sports agent and attorney Nicole Lynn, who serves as executive producer, the second series follows a Black female sports agent’s rise up the ranks in the male dominated industry of sports agents. Tash Grey will produce the series and pen the script. Grey’s notable credits include the Power spinoff Raising Kanan, Snowfall, P-Valley, and the true-crime drama, Unsolved: The Murders of Tupac and Notorious B.I.G.

Both series will be executive produced by 50 Cent and his G-Unit Film & Television imprint.

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Netflix Acquires ‘Malcolm & Marie’ Starring Zendaya, John David Washington

Netflix has acquired the rights to the film Malcolm & Marie staring Zendaya and John David Washington in a $30 million deal during this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. The streaming giant beat out HBO, Amazon, Searchlight, Apple and MGM among others in a bidding war over the film, Deadline reports.

Shot on 35mm black and white film, Malcolm & Marie, tells the story of a filmmaker (portrayed by Washington) who returns home with his girlfriend after a celebrating the premiere of his latest movie. Things take a turn as revelations about the couple’s relationship rise to the surface, changing the mood of the evening.

Malcolm & Marie pic.twitter.com/99RWzgLFbD

— Zendaya (@Zendaya) July 8, 2020

Malcolm & Marie was written, directed and produced by Euphoria creator Sam Levinson, who penned the script in less than a week. Aside from starring in the romantic drama, Zendaya and Washington serve as executive producers on the project.

“I am so grateful to this cast and crew, many of whom are my ‘Euphoria’ family, for coming together during such uncertain times,” Levinson said in a statement. “We felt privileged to be able to make this film together and we did so with a lot of love. We are all thrilled that it has ended up with Netflix which is unparalleled in allowing filmmakers the freedom to tell their stories that reach audiences all over the world.”

The film was shot amid the COVID-19 pandemic at a quarantine location in California in mid-June. Over the course of the two week shoot, heavy precautions were taken to ensure the health and safety of the cast and crew including social distancing, increased sanitary measures, and daily temperature checks.

Netflix’s acquisition of Malcolm & Marie follows an onslaught of TIFF films scooped up by  the company, with Halle Berry’s Bruised among the lot. The film marks Berry’s directorial debut and was sold to Netflix for a reported $20 million.

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