"The primarily Black editing team that was first hired to shape the series' story and finesse its presentation was so discouraged by the direction the show was taking and their lack of say when they flagged changes they found problematic that they took the rare step of walking off the show as a group," reports The Hollywood Reporter's Katie Kilkenny. After the original editors shared their first cut with producers at Bunim/Murray, they were given notes to focus more time on R. Kelly. "The notes asked to spend more time telling the story of Kelly's rise to music stardom and materially increase the use of his voice and image while emphasizing his talent and celebrity," reports Kilkenny. "The notes also asked to change up sequences that cut between survivors by adding in more narrative with Kelly because, the notes suggested, the audience might stop paying attention to the series without interruptions. The notes further argued that the show should be crafted more like a true-crime series and include reminders of Aaliyah's greatest hits, several sources say. After weeks of viewing sensitive and disturbing footage of survivors telling their stories and extremely concerned about the direction of the high-stakes series, the core postproduction team resisted these particular changes. They voiced their opinion that, in aggregate, the proposed edits would center the alleged perpetrator and his talents instead of the survivors' stories. They also argued that the changes would sensationalize the show with true-crime storytelling devices, disregard its Black audience with extra context on icons like Kelly and Aaliyah, and be insensitive to survivors and the Black community." Feeling they weren't doing justice to the survivors onscreen, nearly the entire editing team walked out. Ultimately, Bunim/Murray made changes to Surviving R. Kelly that centered on the survivors. "Though editors feared that Surviving R. Kelly would focus more on its namesake artist when they left in 2018, by the time the show premiered in 2019, it clearly revolved around survivors," says Kilkenny, who adds that it took time for producers to give the editors proper credit.