Reactions To R. Kelly's 'HuffPost Live' Interview Show That People Want Answers From The Artist
R. Kelly has recently taken to the media rounds to promote his newest album, The Buffet. Though the Pied Piper of R&B is making more appearances to boost album sales, a huge elephant in the room is the singer’s storied past full of sexual abuse allegations. So when this line of questioning has came up on Monday, it led to a clearly angry R. Kelly storming out of a HuffPost Live interview.
In what might be the most awkward interview of 2015, Huffpost Live host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani spoke to R.Kelly about his career, fans, and sex. Though the interview went pretty light hearted for 15-minutes, it took a turn when Modarressy-Tehrani asked if his well-publicized legal battles have affected current record sales. It didn’t go well. At all. "I know the difference between negative question and a positive one," R. Kelly said. "If I think it's negative, I'm gonna walk." And from there, it only got worse. When Modarressy-Tehrani asked if he has a healthy relationship with sex, R. Kelly began a rant aimed at Modarressy-Tehrani.
I would have to say this, I did not come here to get interrogated. I didn't come here for a deposition. Do you know what a deposition is? [...] This is a deposition. This is not about R. Kelly. This is not about music. This is not about someone who works hard on his music who has an album out. This is about trying to interrogate me and this is about, you know, disrespect.
Kelly then tried to turn the table by asking Modarressy-Tehrani if she drinks and gets drunk. He then left the stage, ending the award interview. Shortly following the incident, Modarressy-Tehrani took to Twitter to react and to respond to feedback — the good and the bad:
Well, that wasn't the Monday I was expecting! For those asking, here is the full link to my interview w/ R Kelly: https://t.co/v9ozpM21Nr— Caroline MT (@CaroMT) December 21, 2015
To everyone who sent messages of support today - thanks for your kind words (1/2)— Caroline MT (@CaroMT) December 22, 2015
There was an outpouring of support from those who appreciated Modarressy-Tehrani’s efforts. One of those people was Josie Pickens, who on Tuesday wrote a piece for Ebony entitled “R. Kelly Please Leave the Building.” In the article, Pickens, who has been staunchly against the singer, explains how she was invited to HuffPost Live to ask R. Kelly about his past during the ill-fated interview that was cut short. And her question was something that so needed to be asked: how (and why) can R. Kelly expect black women — a large portion of his fan base — to support him despite his long history of sex-abuse allegations which involved the same demographic? Despite not getting an answer, she had a few parting words for the singer:
R. Kelly will forever, forever, have to address his charges of sexual assault, and he should always be prepared to do just that. He does not get to demand blind, silent allegiance from a community he has preyed upon. He does not get to beg me to buy his album and not expect to have to listen to why I will not.
And much of Twitter echoed what Pickens had to say. Though some in the Twitterverse believed that R. Kelly was unfairly attacked or even ambushed, most users didn't hold back, touching on how awkward the interview was and how frustrating it was that disturbing stories circulated for years without R. Kelly having to pay the piper, so to speak:
Once again I will remind you That R. Kelly, like most predators, was hiding in plain sight... pic.twitter.com/ffEICofBnI— Beautiful (@FeministaJones) December 21, 2015
Oh Look. Twitter is having the same conversation we had about R.Kelly last month pic.twitter.com/lSqq92sJt8— DarkSkintDostoyevsky (@daniecal) December 21, 2015
R. Kelly is one of the worst human beings of all time.— jamilah lemieux (@JamilahLemieux) December 21, 2015
Me watching that R. Kelly interview... pic.twitter.com/1VtfpsiDGg— Barely J. Blige (@BeMyFiasco) December 21, 2015
R. Kelly's victims weren't my daughters, so I shouldn't care? Should I also not care abt blk men killed by police who aren't my cousins?— Goldie Taylor (@goldietaylor) December 21, 2015
R. Kelly is fucking gross. An arrogant, sick individual and y'all press play on his shit. Never again.— Kayla Reed (@RE_invent_ED) December 21, 2015
Caroline was respectful. She asked thoughtful questions. R. Kelly couldn't handle it AT ALL. He threatened to leave and go to McDonalds.— Ashley C. Ford (@iSmashFizzle) December 21, 2015
R.Kelly really thought people would be asking him questions about his new album? pic.twitter.com/dfIjMLBA83— jamaican gyal (@tiannawest) December 21, 2015
I have a serious problem with folks demanding people to forgive R. Kelly in the name of Jesus.— b (@bdoulaoblongata) December 22, 2015
I see a lot of people having tantrums on behalf of R Kelly. Maybe try being enraged about him URINATING on minors and recording it?— Lyndsay Kirkham (@Lyndsay_Kirkham) December 22, 2015
My mistake. I should never underestimate R.Kelly's daftness. That was MY fault.— Awesomely Luvvie (@Luvvie) December 21, 2015
Image: Huffington Post