May 24, 2018

BuzzFeed News and Hulu developing feature documentary on R. Kelly

Buzzfeed News

BuzzFeed News and Hulu are developing a feature documentary on the dark side of R. Kelly’s career, including his alleged abuse and exploitation of young black women, according to a Buzzfeed spokesperson.

Why it matters: The film marks the latest project in a series of new video documentaries from BuzzFeed News, including a new show for Netflix, which launches July 9.

Between the lines: Many digital and print-first media publishers are turning to premium video, or TV-quality content, to reengage their audiences where they spend the most time — the big screen.

  • From a business perspective, it also allows publishers to bring in money from new revenue sources, like revenue sharing agreements from TV-like video ads being sold around the content or content licensing agreements on platforms like Netflix.

The film will include key figures from the R. Kelly story, including survivors and R. Kelly’s associates. A title for the film has not yet been announced.

  • The reporting will be led by by music critic and radio host Jim DeRogatis — who has covered Kelly for almost two decades — and Buzzfeed deputy national editor Marisa Carroll, who has edited and overseen BuzzFeed News’ coverage of the R. Kelly drama, according to a Buzzfeed spokesperson.
  • It will be directed and produced by award-winning filmmakers, including Emmy Award-winning director Lyric Cabral, Academy Award-winner Laura Poitras and Charlotte Cook. The project was developed by Linzee Troubh and Shani Hilton of BuzzFeed News.

The bigger picture: The documentary is part of a larger Buzzfeed series called Follow This, which features 20 episodes at 15-minutes each as part of a weekly series, Buzzfeed is also investing in other video projects, like a morning news show on Twitter called AM to DM, a show on Oxygen network and a docu-series on Apple News.

Go deeper: In an interview with Bloomberg, BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti said "he wants his company to make money in TV and films, e-commerce, and licensing or merchandising ... [and] is also considering “focused subscription products” in topics such as education, gaming or lifestyle media."

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U.S. enters 6th day of nationwide protests over George Floyd's killing

A protest in Philadelphia on May 31. Photo: Mark Makela/Getty Images

Local news footage captured a tanker truck appearing to drive toward protesters at a peaceful demonstration in Minneapolis, forcing demonstrators to quickly get out of the way of the incoming vehicle on Sunday evening.

The big picture: Protests have continued across the country for six days, as demonstrators call for justice in response to the deaths of George Floyd and other other black Americans who have died in police custody or who have been killed in racist attacks.

Updated 14 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Tanker truck appears to plow into Minneapolis protesters

Authorities closed major roads at 5 p.m. in Minneapolis for the march. Photo: Chandan Khanna/AFP via Getty Images

A tanker truck appears to have driven toward thousands of protesters Sunday evening during a demonstration in Minneapolis, who managed to avoid the vehicle, video from the scene shows.

What they're saying: Minnesota Department of Public Safety tweeted, "Very disturbing actions by a truck driver on I-35W, inciting a crowd of peaceful demonstrators. The truck driver was injured & taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries. He is under arrest. It doesn’t appear any protesters were hit by the truck."

Inside Trump's antifa tweet

President Trump at Cape Canaveral on May 30. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

As recently as Saturday night, senior administration officials told me that the designation of a violent cohort of far-left activists, antifa, as a terrorist organization was not being seriously discussed at the White House. But that was Saturday.

Behind the scenes: The situation changed dramatically a few hours later, after prominent conservative allies of the president, such as his friend media commentator Dan Bongino, publicly urged a tough response against people associated with antifa (short for "anti-fascist").