UPDATE 04.30.18, 4:00 p.m. EST: Following the resurgence of the viral hashtag, #MuteRKelly, the Pied Piper’s management team released a statement commenting on the Time’s Up movement and the singer’s sexual abuse allegations. “R.Kelly supports the pro-woman 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.
The statement continued, plugging Kelly’s contributions to the black community and music industry as a whole. “R. Kelly’s music is a part of American and African-American culture that should never – and will never – be silenced,” it continues. “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.”
Read the rest of the public statement below.
— philip lewis (@Phil_Lewis_) April 30, 2018
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Several people online have asked to #MuteRKelly and now Women of Color of Time’s Up is joining in, and they mean business. The subcommittee released a statement Monday morning (Apr. 29) demanding several business and streaming platforms to cut all ties with R. Kelly amidst several years of sexual misconduct and statutory rape allegations.
#MuteRKelly started as an attempt to get the singer’s music to stop playing on Atlanta’s airwaves and any other streaming services. So far, the nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show has agreed to stop spinning Kelly’s music.
The WOC of Time’s Up is asking for RCA Records (the label Kelly is signed to), Ticketmaster, Spotify, Apple Music and Greensboro Coliseum Complex in North Carolina to cut ties, The Root reports. They’re also demanding “appropriate investigations and inquiries into the allegations of R. Kelly’s abuse made by women of color and their families for over two decades now.”
Controversy surrounds the “Ignition” singer for over 25 years. Sexual allegations around his name resurfaced after Buzzfeed published an article last year about him possibly running a sex cult out of his Georgia home. He’s received more allegations after BBC aired a documentary detailing years of sexual conduct and allegations.
Kelly’s publicist, lawyer, and assistant stopped working for him shortly after new allegations of him, claiming he “knowingly and intentionally infected” a 19-year-old woman he was “grooming” for a sex cult with an STD.
“As women of color within Time’s Up, we recognize that we have a responsibility to help right this wrong,” they said in the press release published by The Root. “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.”