Times Goes Ga-Ga For Trapped In The Closet

0816trappedcloset.jpgThe Times is leading Thursday’s Arts section with a piece on new episodes of R. Kelly‘s Trapped In The Closet. Which, given the various infidelities, midgets, gay preachers and gunplay the series has featured… Well, it’s a natural choice. However, the real story here is that R. Kelly and label Jive Records teamed up with IFC to produce the new episodes for initial airing on IFC.com. The entire Trapped In The Closet series will then air on IFC on September 7, as well. And if we’re good, well, maybe they’ll even show the whole damn thing at the IFC Center.

A few quick notes:

  • IFC does a good job of legitimizing R. Kelly’s hip-hopera for the Times audience with general manager Evan Shapiro comparing Kelly to John Waters. Downtown comedian/Human Giant star Aziz Ansari is quoted as well.
  • Even as recently as five years ago, the Times would never have given prominent front-of-section placement to a pop singer’s midget and sex obsessed film side project. Is it skewing towards a younger audience? Or is it just the Times becoming more comfortable with semi-underground pop culture? Either way, smart move — it just means more advertising money from the paper.
  • As far as we know, this marks UrbanEye writer Melena Ryzik‘s first front-of-section piece for the Arts section. Congrats.

    — Neal Ungerleider