Since the Lifetime network's documentary series "Surviving R. Kelly" aired earlier this month, there's been non-stop discussion around the central character of that story: Chicago R&B singer R. Kelly.
The series includes first-hand accounts of alleged abuse by women who interacted with or worked with Kelly. Journalists featured in the series uncover Kelly's childhood, career, the allegations and what those allegations mean in the larger context of honoring and believing women of color in the wake of the #MeToo movement.
“I hope that it means that we will no longer be dismissed when we come forward with allegations, that we will be taken seriously,” said Kathy Chaney, deputy managing editor of breaking news and staff development at the Chicago Sun-Times, who appears in the docuseries.
“There’s just a negative narrative that the media plays into and helps craft about the stereotypes of black women – who we are, what we are, what we do, which is just completely wrong,” Chaney said. “So if the media and some of those within our own community can disrespect us, we can’t be surprised that others are disrespecting us as well.”
Chaney, who covered the 2008 criminal case against R. Kelly and is black, said she hopes the fallout from the series will help reverse “that tide.”
Chaney and Mary Mitchell, columnist and editorial board member at the Chicago Sun-Times who also reported on the case and appeared in the series, join us in discussion.
For information on how to seek help for victims of abuse, visit the Stop Violence Against Women website and resource guide.
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