Conviction Does Not Make Up for Decades of Overlooked Abuse, “Surviving R. Kelly” Documentary Creator Says

dream hampton says the culture that enabled R. Kelly’s abuse still exists, and survivors are entitled to long-term support.

Filmmaker dream hampton created the docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly” in 2019 to give voice to the survivors of R. Kelly’s decades-long sex trafficking and exploitation. After the singer was found guilty on all accounts in federal court earlier this week, hampton says the culture that allowed his abuse still exists.

“These are Black women like me. And I’m never going to apologize for advocating for Black girls.” –dream hampton 

Listen: dream hampton on holding abusers and enablers accountable.


dream hampton is an award-winning filmmaker and producer of the 2019 docuseries “Surviving R. Kelly.” She says with the series, she and her team sought to remind people of the singer’s crimes and the systems that perpetuated them, without knowing if he would be convicted. “We didn’t set out to do this project thinking that there would be a trial, that there would be charges.” hampton says the recent guilty conviction doesn’t change the fact that society failed to hold him accountable for decades, enabling his known abuse. “What he was doing took money … All of these places were staffed by people who enabled the abuse, who actually committed the abuse … if any of those people had stepped in to protect those girls, then we wouldn’t have to be where we are now.”

Attempting to separate the art from the artist is impossible when R. Kelly used his abuse as source material, hampton says. “If you can’t stop listening to R. Kelly, if you can’t stop streaming his music … then let that music go to a fund for his survivors, cause therapy is not free.” hampton says with this conviction, she wants to know what will be done to support the survivors of R. Kelly’s abuse. “These are Black women like me. And I’m never going to apologize for advocating for Black girls.”

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