After more than 24 years of abuse allegations, R. Kelly’s accusers allegedly may finally be properly heard. WHAT WAS LAUNCHED? Launched by Women of Color of Time’s Up, a statement read in part, “The recent court decision against Bill Cosby is one step toward addressing these ills, but it is just a start. We call on people everywhere to join with us to insist on a world in which women of all kinds can pursue their dreams free from sexual assault, abuse and predatory behavior. To this end, today we join an existing online campaign called #MuteRKelly.”
They are calling on the following corporations to cut ties with the singer: RCA Records (the label currently produces and distributes his music), Ticketmaster (currently issuing tickets for R. Kelly’s show on May 11), Spotify and Apple Music (streaming platforms currently monetizing R. Kelly’s music) and Greensboro Coliseum Complex (North Carolina venue is currently hosting an R. Kelly concert May 11).
R. Kelly reacted via statement to BuzzFeed, saying, “R. Kelly supports the pro-women goals of the Time’s Up movement. We understand criticizing a famous artist is a good way to draw attention to those goals — and in this case, it is unjust and off-target.” Then, in one of the worst examples, Kelly claims he is being publicly lynched, saying it’s an “attempted public lynching of a Black man who has made extraordinary contributions to our culture.”
Obviously, the analogy is ridiculous and offensive. Me Too found Tarana Burke responded with, “This is not a lynching. You know, we are only a week out of the national monument to lynching being opened in Montgomery, Ala. and the history, and the reality of lynching in America is so, so painful and so real. This is not a public lynching. This is a call for public accountability.”
Even with over two decades of allegations and a video of him allegedly with a teenage girl, there are still many people on his side. In addition, the hashtag #ISupportRKelly has gotten traction.
No one is saying to lock up Kelly and throw away the key, but considering the mountains of accusations, people are asking for public accountability. For anyone to questions that is deeply disturbing.