A few days ago, Women of Color (a subgroup within the Time’s Up movement) penned a letter calling for action against R. Kelly for his alleged history of sexual abuse.
In the letter, the women demand that the music industry cut ties with R. Kelly and also call for an investigation into all sexual-misconduct allegations involving the singer.
Well, R. Kelly has responded and he’s calling it a “public lynching”.
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Emmy Award-winning writer and director Ava DuVernay is one of the many “Women of Color” who joined in the call to #MuteRKelly. DuVernay took to Twitter to “demand investigations into R. Kelly’s abuse allegations made by women of color and their families for two decades.”
We join the call to #MuteRKelly and insist on the safety + dignity of all women. We demand investigations into R. Kelly’s abuse allegations made by women of color + their families for two decades. We call on those who profit from his music to cut ties. #MuteRKelly #TIMESUP #WOC pic.twitter.com/TYmDRVIH00
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) April 30, 2018
#MuteRKelly is calling for music streaming giants Apple Music, Spotify, Ticketmaster, as well as the R&B singer’s label RCA to all cut ties with him once and for all. Other celebs including Questlove, Lena Waithe, Lupita Nyong’o, Kerry Washington, Gabrielle Union, Viola Davis and more have joined the movement as well and are making quite an impact on the movement.
Kelly’s most recent concert in his hometown of Chicago at the University of Illinois last Friday was cancelled after protests from students and faculty. Kelly is still scheduled to perform next month in Greensboro, North Carolina as part of his “Memory Lane” tour, however protestors hope to get that concert canceled as well.
Straight from the 👑’s mouth! I love my fans. I love Chicago. Next show: Greensboro, NC May 11. pic.twitter.com/RcbalV0Idc
— R. Kelly (@rkelly) April 30, 2018
“First of all, I want to apologize to all of my fans in Chicago, and basically all around the world wherever I’m performing at and they canceled me,” Kelly confirmed in a video on his Twitter. “I don’t know why they canceled the show. I never heard of a show being canceled because of rumors, but I guess there’s a first time for everything. So I apologize to you guys and in the meantime, I’m going to try to get to the bottom line of it, you know, as far as my lawyers are concerned, and see exactly what happened and why I was canceled.”
Meanwhile, Kelly’s management team issued a response to the #MuteRKelly letter to Variety, which they refer to as a “public lynching of a black man who has made extraordinary contributions to our culture.”
“Kelly’s music is a part of American and African-American culture that should never—and will never—be silenced. Since America was born, black men and women have been lynched for having sex or for being accused of it. We will vigorously resist this attempted public lynching of a black man who has made extraordinary contributions to our culture.”
–Thanks for listening. R. Kelly management.”
Kelly has a long history of alleged misconduct with underaged women, including an annulled marriage to singer Aaliyah when she was 15; a long trial centering around a video allegedly depicting him having sex with an underaged women for which he was ultimately acquitted; and multiple accusations in recent months that he is running an “abusive sex cult” and essentially imprisoning women in his homes in Atlanta and Chicago.
For the record, Kelly has maintained his innocence amid all of the allegations.