John Legend Defends Appearing In ‘Surviving R Kelly,’ Says He Refuses To Protect A ‘Serial Child Rapist’

'[I]t didn't feel risky at all. I believe these women,' he said.

John Legend attends Caruso's Palisades Village opening gala at Palisades Village on September 20, 2018 in Pacific Palisades, California.
Philip Faraone / Getty Images

'[I]t didn't feel risky at all. I believe these women,' he said.

John Legend was the only major celebrity who was willing to appear in the docuseries Surviving R. Kelly, a decision that some people have called courageous, according to Us Magazine. But he says that the controversial decision was an easy one to make because he doesn’t “give a f**k about protecting a serial child rapist.”

The series, which is airing on Lifetime this week, takes a look at the allegations of sexual abuse and pedophilia that have been aimed at the singer over his career. Producer Dream Hampton said that it was difficult for her to find celebrities willing to appear in the show, despite the fact that many people have been critical of Kelly over the years.

But John Legend was willing to come forward and speak about his experiences, surprising some fans.

“We asked Lady Gaga. We asked Erykah Badu. We asked Céline Dion. We asked Jay-Z. We asked Dave Chappelle. [They’re] people who have been critical of him. That makes John Legend even more of a hero for me,” Hampton said.

People have called Legend’s appearance heroic, given the fact that so many other people were unwilling to speak out. But he said that it was an easy decision to make.

“To everyone telling me how courageous I am for appearing in the doc, it didn’t feel risky at all. I believe these women and don’t give a f**k about protecting a serial child rapist. Easy decision,” he wrote on Twitter.

“Also I’m happy to support the work of people like my friends at @ALongWalkHome who have been speaking out on behalf of the survivors for a long time,” he added.

Legend has been critical of Kelly in the past. When the #MuteRKelly campaign began in April after new abuse allegations came to light, Legend tweeted his support. At the time, Kelly was accused of keeping young women in an abusive “cult” against their will.

So far, only one of the other celebrities asked to be in the documentary has spoken out about why he chose not to appear on film. Questlove tweeted that he declined the opportunity because he was asked to speak about Kelly’s “genius” and didn’t want to appear to be “protecting him.”

Hampton responded that she never asked Questlove to speak about Kelly’s genius but to come on camera and repeat some of the criticisms that he had made about Kelly on social media. Questlove deleted his tweet shortly after.