On March 8, (International Women’s Day, nonetheless) CBS aired Gayle King’s interview with R. Kelly. This special dives into the years of accusations of sexual misconduct, the “Surviving R Kelly” documentary, and his recent arrest. I highly recommend watching the interview in its entirety so you hear it all for yourself.
The entire experience can be summed up by saying that Gayle called him out on his shit… and R. Kelly denied everything. (He also seems very confused on the actual Double Jeopardy works, but whatever.)
Gayle was an absolute QUEEN for the entire hour. From start to finish, she dealt magnificently with every egocentric curve ball he threw her way. I couldn’t help but be bothered by his constant need to interrupt and condescend every question that was asked, and every statement that she tried to make.
A few times, Robert had (what I would describe as) an emotional outburst. More than once, he even needed his ‘Crisis Manager’ to come in, calm him down, and get him back into his seat.
Even I, as I’m writing this, referred to Kelly’s outbreaks as ’emotional’. I can’t help but imagine that had this been a female interviewee instead, the words we as a society would use to describe this would be ‘crazy’, ‘meltdown’, ‘psycho’, and even ‘bitch’. The unfortunate truth is that if the genders were reversed, the behavior he displayed in this interview would never have been tolerated, and would have been essentially laughed off.
High-key: my favorite moment of the whole thing was during one of these outburst. Kelly was yelling, crying, and walking around the room. Gayle simply sits in her chair and says, “Robert” sternly, but calmly. (Seriously, a queen.)
If I wrote about every problematic thing Kelly did JUST DURING THIS INTERVIEW, this article would go on for thousands of words. So, let me just highlight a few:
– Continually interrupting Gayle, rarely allowing her to finish an entire sentence or thought.
– Correcting Gayle’s word choices to avoid answering hard questions. (He insisted upon a difference between ‘allegations’ and ‘rumors’ for a solid 30 seconds.)
– Stating he also loves ‘kicking it with older women’ as part of his argument that he could have never sleep with a girl under 17.
– THE WAY HE SPOKE TO GAYLE WHEN SHE ASKED WHY HE WENT TO MCDONALD’S AFTER BEING RELEASED FROM JAIL. (Can you tell this moment really bothered me?)
– Pleading his innocence (multiple times) directly into the camera instead of while making eye contact with Gayle.
– Asking ‘are the cameras still rolling?’ before (kind of) answering big questions.
– There was also a moment where Kelly was questioned on the true meaning behind his 2018 song ‘I Admit’, his response to Gayle was, “Anyone over the age of 2 could understand (what that song was about)”. *eye roll*
The level of manipulation used and addressed in this interview merely scratches the surface of this alleged sex-cult leader’s influential powers.
Gayle also confirmed that while two of Kelly’s girlfriends were being interviewed, he was coughing very loudly off-screen – as if to let them know he was there and listening.
Moral of the story: #MuteRKelly