Lifetime’s new docuseries Surviving R. Kelly will air tonight (Jan. 3) on the network. Ahead of its premiere, reports claimed a handful of musicians declined to participate in the docuseries due to the controversy surrounding R. Kelly and his sex abuse allegations. Questlove, who was on the list of declining artists, has now responded to the report, explaining why he backed out of the project.
Questlove responded on social media to the mild backlash concerning his decision not to appear on the series. “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,'” he wrote on Twitter on Thursday (Jan. 3). “I was asked to talk about his genius. I do not nor have I EVER stanned for him”
He also reiterated that he was in no way protecting or advocating for R. Kelly. “Just wanna make that abundantly clear in a non ‘he doth protest too much’ way. That [dream hampton] quote makes it look like I’m protecting him,” he added. “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’s now-deleted tweets come after the series executive-producer, dream hampton told Shadow and Act that musicians including Questlove, Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige, and more did not want to be involved in the series. “John Legend was the only one [who particapted],” hampton told the publication. “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.”
Check out Questlove’s full comments below, and check out Surviving R. Kelly on Lifetime at 9/8C.