The one-hour Friday night special, as Surviving R. Kelly did at greater length, "got at the question of how an accused abuser could escape consequences for so long," says James Poniewozik. "But you could also look to Mr. Kelly’s all-too-familiar responses in the interview. The multiple, detailed accusations, he said, were 'rumor,' the women were 'lying' and 'scorned.' His fury may have been jaw-dropping — but all this had worked for him, and other men, before. Last fall, his future clouded by a sexual assault charge, Brett M. Kavanaugh roared his way onto the Supreme Court on national TV. The face-off, between the wrathful Mr. Kelly and the stoic Ms. King was a clash of temperaments. But it was also a collision of eras: the moment of the reckoning coming face-to-face with decades of impunity."