Women of color involved in the Time’s Up movement, which developed from the #MeToo campaign, are calling for an investigation into R. Kelly’s sexual abuse allegations. They are also asking anyone who works with him to stop and using the hashtag #MuteRKelly to accompany the new movement.
A letter pushing for the investigation by Time’s Up was published by The Root on Monday (April 30). Academy Award-winning director Ava DuVernay, John Legend and The Roots’ Questlove are among the prominent names in entertainment to show support for the #MuteRKelly movement.
“For too long, our community has ignored our pain,” the letter reads. “The pain we bear is a burden that too many women of color have had to bear for centuries. The wounds run deep. As women of color within Time’s Up, we recognize that we have a responsibility to help right this wrong. We intend to shine a bright light on our WOC sisters in need. It is our hope that we will never feel ignored or silenced ever again.”
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#WOCpic.twitter.com/TYmDRVIH00
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) April 30, 2018
Standing alongside the women and sisters in the LONG OVERDUE CANCELLATION of Rkelly. #TimesUp… https://t.co/F9RUKVywXw
— T'Questlove (@questlove) April 30, 2018
I stand with the women of #timesup#muterkelly. https://t.co/B0yaRj7zdZ
— John Legend (@johnlegend) April 30, 2018
Following Bill Cosby’s conviction for his sexually abusive behavior, heads have turned to Kelly, who has been facing allegations of sexual abuse and misconduct against black women and girls for years. The controversial singer was once charged with 21 counts of child pornography and has recently been accused of grooming a teenager to be his “sex pet.”
Dallas authorities are currently looking into a woman’s assault claim in which the R&B singer knowingly gave her herpes. And according to an article by The Washington Post, Kelly was also prepping the woman to be part of his “sex cult.”
Last year, reports of Kelly’s “sex cult” emerged where he was allegedly keeping women against their will. One report says he would use his money, power and promise of fame to reel in unsuspecting women to his Atlanta mansion where they weren’t allowed to leave.
RCA Records, Spotify and Apple Music have been called out for monetizing off Kelly’s work, along with Ticketmaster and Greensboro Coliseum Complex in North Carolina, where he will be performing on May 11. Time’s Up is asking that those companies to completely cut ties with Kelly. In a recent interview — completely unrelated to the controversial singer – popular MC Vince Staples took it upon himself to switch the subject to call the self-proclaimed “Pied Piper” a “child molestor.”
A statement was released to Buzzfeed in response to Time’s Up, calls the movement “off-target.”
“R. Kelly supports the pro-women goals of the Time’s Up movement,” the statement from Kelly’s representative reads. “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,” further calling it an “attempted public lynching of a black man who has made extraordinary contributions to our culture.”
The statement continued: “R. Kelly’s music is a part of American and African-American culture that should never ― and will never ― be silenced,” the statement said. “Since America was born, black men and women have been lynched for having sex or for being accused of it.”
More #MuteRKelly reactions can be found down below.
An open letter by the women of color in @TIMESUPNOW imploring people everywhere to #MuteRKelly: https://t.co/UL2cYivYc1#TimesUppic.twitter.com/birxUwgmHp
— The Root (@TheRoot) April 30, 2018
Today we join the call to #MuteRKelly and insist on safety & dignity for all women. We demand appropriate investigations and inquiries into the allegations of R. Kelly’s abuse made by women of color & their families for over two decades now. #WOC#TIMESUPhttps://t.co/CG7Y5ZmKyR
— kerry washington (@kerrywashington) April 30, 2018
In solidarity with those demanding appropriate investigations into allegations of abuse – #MuteRKelly#timesuppic.twitter.com/HVTgmZcfDs
— Elizabeth Banks (@ElizabethBanks) April 30, 2018
Today we join the tenacious fight of @TaranaBurke and demand real investigations and inquiries into the allegations of R. Kelly’s abuse of young Black women. #MuteRKelly#TIMESUP
— Gina Prince-Bythewood (@GPBmadeit) April 30, 2018
Justice for women of color is long overdue. R Kelly should be criminally prosecuted for statutory rape, especially when there is a 26 minute video of him performing sex acts with a 14-year-old girl. #MuteRKelly
— Eugene Gu, MD (@eugenegu) April 30, 2018
Standing with the women of #TimesUp and #MeToo and the countless black women who have been in the middle of this fight all these years with little to no support to #MuteRKelly. This ends now. https://t.co/7zuLXTU7B4
— Matthew A. Cherry (@MatthewACherry) April 30, 2018
Black girls are more vital than a few bops & a cute beat. #MuteRKellyhttps://t.co/s23GKwGaSX
— Janet Mock (@janetmock) April 30, 2018
YES! As I’ve said 1000x, R. Creepy has to GO. I’m not here for the discussions about “separating the man from his music.” I refuse to separate a man from his serial abuse of black women. BLACK WOMEN AND GIRLS ARE VALUABLE. #MuteRKelly#TIMESUP#WOChttps://t.co/9TtfeV8DGB
— Robin Thede (@robinthede) April 30, 2018
I knew from the moment I opened my eyes that this day would be long and exhausting. I'm not going to spend more hours fussing w/ Black folks. I love us. Even when…
Anyway, leaving these two articles for folks to chew on. ✌? #MuteRKellyhttps://t.co/rINkr8aggc
— Tarana (@TaranaBurke) April 30, 2018
We are 20 years overdue for #MuteRKelly but here we are.
Let’s do this. Get that sexual predator off @Spotify@AppleMusic@TIDAL
There is no need to separate art and artist. The time has come to end this. pic.twitter.com/qbdd7gwVvP
— George M Johnson (@IamGMJohnson) April 30, 2018
Whew. I am 100% behind the #MuteRKelly movement. This statement from his team did him absolutely NO favors. It’s absolutely horrible. For him. Welp. pic.twitter.com/AGTvJRCoW9
— April (@ReignOfApril) April 30, 2018
According to NBC 5 Chicago, Ticketmaster announced in an online statement that R. Kelly “is no longer performing” at the May 5 “Pre-Mother’s Day Love Jam.” ? https://t.co/kvzw3J1brS
— Hello Beautiful (@HelloBeautiful) April 30, 2018
Dear fellow journalists: When you write stories about #MuteRKelly do no forget about the YEARS of advocacy by Black women activists who've been fighting to protect young Black girls and boys.
— Britni Danielle (@BritniDWrites) April 30, 2018