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Wednesday
Jan092019

"Surviving R. Kelly" executive producers address response to the series: "The conversations being had are larger than R. Kelly"

Andrea Kelly/Courtesy of LifetimeNearly a week after its premiere, the executive producers of Lifetime's Surviving R. Kelly series are sharing their thoughts on how it's been received.

Tuesday, Tamra Simmons and Jesse Daniels spoke with ABC News about the overwhelming response to the shocking six-part expose. The docuseries, which included interviews with #MeToo founder Tarana Burke, musician John Legend and Kelly's multiple accusers, detailed the decade-long history of the singer's alleged serial abuse. 

According to Variety, ratings for the Lifetime series surged past two million total viewers following the three-night event.

"The conversations being had here are larger than R. Kelly," Daniels told ABC News. "It's helping people who have been abused to come forward and feel like they're being supported...feel like they're being heard." 

For her part, Simmons said as an African-American woman, she understands why so many of the singer's alleged victims have been reluctant to come forward over the years.

"When black girls say this person did this to me or that person, they're like, 'Well, you were being fast or you shouldn't dress like that," Simmons explained.

"So, black girls' voices aren't going to be heard. And that's why a lot of these survivors haven't spoken up.  Because they've seen it in the past over and over again, when someone came out, and they were in their race, they weren't heard."

In the wake of the series, Kelly is reportedly under criminal investigation by the Fulton County District Attorney's office and is also at risk of being evicted from his Chicago music studio. 

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