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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."

Go deeper

Updated 26 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Fall and winter COVID surge "unlikely" if people get vaccinated.
  2. Politics: School boards are the next political battleground.
  3. Vaccines: Pfizer begins application for full FDA vaccine approval — Moderna says its COVID booster shot shows promise against variants.
  4. Economy: U.S. adds just 266,000 jobs in April, far below expectations.
  5. World: Asia faces massive new COVID surgeIndia records its deadliest day of the pandemic.
  6. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Kevin McCarthy officially endorses Elise Stefanik to replace Liz Cheney

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) officially endorsed Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) to become the GOP's next House Republican conference chair during a Fox News appearance Sunday.

Why it matters: The GOP has been feuding internally over the fate of the current chair, Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), because of her criticisms of former President Donald Trump, and her vote to impeach him for his role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.

Fauci: Vaccines could turn COVID-19 "surges" into "blips"

NIAID director Anthony Fauci told "Meet the Press" Sunday that if more Americans get vaccinated in accordance with the Biden administration's goals, COVID-19 surges may be replaced by "blips."

State of play: Last week President Joe Biden announced his goal to get 160 million Americans fully vaccinated by July 4, with at least 70% of Americans having at least one shot.

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