“Surviving R. Kelly,” the six-part Lifetime documentary series detailing sexual abuse allegations against the R&B singer, has caused the music industry and the nation at large to reexamine R. Kelly’s career on and off stage. The series includes interviews with survivors of R. Kelly’s alleged abuse, and has led to a newly opened criminal investigation against Kelly in Georgia. As shockwaves continue to ripple through the media industry, a 2005 episode of the adult animated series “The Boondocks” has attracted thousands of eyeballs on Reddit for a scene in which the character Huey slams people for celebrating the extremely problematic R. Kelly.
The episode, “The Trial of R. Kelly,” was the second episode of the first season of “The Boondocks” and was written by series creator Aaron McGruder and Rodney Barnes. The plot dreamt up what the trail might’ve looked like where R. Kelly was charged with urinating on an underage girl. Many of the characters in the show adored R. Kelly and his music and therefore were willing to look past the incident and hope for his acquittal. When R. Kelly was proven innocent, the entire court room broke out in song and dance, leaving Huey to take center stage and criticize the reaction.
“What the hell is wrong with you people?” Huey says. “Every famous n**ga that gets arrested is not Nelson Mandela. Yes, the government conspires to put a lot of innocent black men in jail on fallacious charges. But R. Kelly is not one of those men. We all know the n**ga can sing, but what happened to standards? What happened to bare minimums? Are you a fan of R. Kelly? You wanna help R. Kelly? Get some counseling for R. Kelly! Introduce him to some older women! Hide his camcorder! But don’t pretend that the man is a hero! And stop the damn dancing! Act like you’ve got some goddamn sense, people! Damn! I’m through playing around here!”
“The Boondocks” episode aired November 13, 2005, but is gaining a second life in the aftermath of “Surviving R. Kelly.” Huey’s rant has drawn over 6,000 upvotes on Reddit in less than 10 hours. The episode was recently hailed by New York Times culture writer Aisha Harris as a “scathing critique” of the singer, which Harris contrasts with a Dave Chappelle sketch which treats the pee tape largely as a joke.
“Surviving R. Kelly” began airing on Lifetime January 5. The six installments are available on Lifetime’s VOD app. “The Boondocks” ran for four seasons on Adult Swim.