People around the world are were shocked by R. Kelly's tearful interview on CBS News, and some have turned it into a viral meme.
The case against Kelly has been mounting, as multiple allegations of sexual assault and related crimes move forward. The singer has been accused of child sexual abuse, producing and distributing child pornography and many other crimes over the years, and now they are all coming together in the wake of the Lifetime docuseries Surviving R. Kelly.
The accusations leveled against Kelly are very serious, and according to many of his alleged victims, they have already had lasting ramifications. The documentary even takes pains to note that the crimes are deeply entrenched in American pop culture, where Kelly has been an iconic figure for decades.
Still, social media users cannot help but make light of the situation, especially in the wake of Kelly's strange interview. The singer sat down for a 90 minute talk with CBS News' Gayle King, where he cried, squealed, and at one point even stood up, pacing the studio and gesturing violently.
The clip surprised many of Kelly's long-time fans, and brought renewed attention to the case. Since the interview came out, people have been re-posting and editing it to mock Kelly. In most cases, they poke fun at his melodrama, or imply that he is guilty.
The humor strikes some the wrong way, however, and the memes have become a strange meeting point for different perspectives. Here is a look at how the internet is processing Kelly's explosive interview.
'Too Damn Bad'
I’m fighting for my f***cking life!!
Twitter: pic.twitter.com/8VK7QCz7le— Cam Digga ? (@CameronDeval) March 8, 2019
Lots of the memes that came out this week featured different ways of refuting Kelly's desperate plea. That included this one, with a clip showing how Twitter at large felt about his complaints.
'Can I Get a McFlurry?'
Me: Can I get a McFlurry?
Mcondalds: Our machine is down.March 6, 2019
Of course, another popular genre of meme involved re-purposing Kelly's high-pitched monologue for other, more mundane problems. In addition to this McDonald's-themed one, users applied Kelly's tears to video games, school and games.
View this post on Instagram
Even rapper Wiz Khalifa got in on the trend, posting a clip of Kelly's interview on Instagram and applying it to his infamous love for marijuana.
"When you already high and n—s keep passin you the weed," he wrote.
Justice Brett Kavanaugh
Women can’t be trusted. They’re too emotional. pic.twitter.com/axDbM0bmgG— Amanda Marcotte (@AmandaMarcotte) March 6, 2019
Kelly's anger in the interview drew a lot of comparisons to the hearings of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who faced several accusations of sexual assault. Kavanaugh had some viral moments of his own while defending himself, and some viewers saw a pattern reflected in Kelly.
WHY JERSEY DO R KELLY LIKE THIS ???? pic.twitter.com/AMEEUP2XVL— JQKER ? (@DjJoker106) March 7, 2019
One enterprising producer even re-purposed Kelly's angry diatribe for an improvised dance track, which found its way around the Internet on many different platforms.
These R Kelly memes are fuxkimg hilarious ? pic.twitter.com/OQ5GU0pCC6— ADAM?? (@AAhmed1017) March 9, 2019
Some of the most popular memes involved a degree of video editing, such as this one where a user put a table covered in Uno cards between King and Kelly. The creator put a "draw 4" card in King's hand, redirecting Kelly's outrage toward a timeless children's card game.
Michael Jackson in the afterlife watching the R Kelly doc pic.twitter.com/emxhc2vDGO— IG: corneliusfromwyoming (@Sneeeered) March 9, 2019
In the wake of the #MeToo movement, many memes related Kelly's case to those of other infamous sexual assault charges. This included one post about Michael Jackson's newly rehashed allegations of child sexual abuse, where a user posted a classic Vine.
Not a Joke
Again, R. Kelly, a pedophile, doesn’t deserve to be a viral meme. Whose image is all over the TL.
The shade room just posted his image in comparison to astrology signs. That’s not ok. The internet is strange. https://t.co/lh6s708wCt— Jasmyn Lawson (@JasmynBeKnowing) March 9, 2019
Finally, as the memes found purchase online, some users interjected, reminding their followers about the seriousness of the case. They asked that people consider the damage Kelly has done to his alleged victims before turning him into a joke.