In an era where sexual assault is being discussed in a way to inspire survivors to come forward rather than to evoke shame, a new movement hopes to censor R. Kelly’s music from radio and streaming services.
Shrouded in sexual abuse scandals throughout his career, the “Real Talk” singer has been accused of urinating on an underage girl to more recently holding barely legal women captive in his home. Now, a campaign calling for his silence seems to be long overdue.
Despite the scandals, Kelly has been able to continue a somewhat thriving career, which Oronike Odeleye of Atlanta hopes to change through #MuteRKelly.
As the managing director of the Creative Currents Artist Collaborative, she has been working since July of last year to get his music removed from airwaves in ATL and has since started a petition.
“I have been hearing about R. Kelly’s sexual abuse of young black women since I was in my teens. Every few years more women come out with their stories,” Odeleye said in an interview with theGrio. “More images and videos surface. More black girls are scarred for life just as they are coming into their womanhood and sexuality.”
Odeleye has teamed up with Kenyette Barnes, a social justice activist and a survivor of child pornography, and since then the women have made strides as they have contributed to eight of Kelly’s concerts being canceled across the country.
The women are focusing their efforts on two New York City venues where Kelly is scheduled to perform and have recently launched ‘ThumbItDown’ in an effort to get his music removed from sites such as Pandora and Tidal.