Disturbing sexual accusations against R.Kelly haven’t stopped the artist from performing across the country. As the singer continues to book shows, the founders of the #MuteRKelly movement are urging the city of Jackson City, Mississippi to cancel his upcoming concert.
On Thursday (Nov. 8), a letter sent to members of the Jackson City Council, the Mississippi Department of Agriculture and local media like The Clarion-Ledger raised several points against Kelly, including why cities are welcoming him to perform despite the endless amounts of sexual assault accusations and the previous reports about holding women against their will in a sex cult.
Co-founder Oronike Odeleye penned the letter and brought up how black sexual assault victims are often overlooked while non-black/latinx victims are widely reported by the media.
“Is there no morality clause outlining who the facility is rented out to?” Odeleye asked in the letter. “Across the nation, women and men have called for the cancellation of R. Kelly’s concerts … rooted in public disgust for Kelly’s use of sexual manipulation, abuse, harassment, and coercion of young black women. It is unacceptable that in a day and age where powerful men are able to lose their careers behind the sexual assault of white women, the abusers of black women still get carte blanche to profit from and keep committing their crimes unchecked. We want this concert canceled immediately! This is a slap in the face to sexual abuse victims and shows, once again, that you consider profit is more important than the safety and well being of young black women.”
The Clarion-Leger reports Kelly is expected to perform at the Mississippi Coliseum on Sunday (Nov. 11) alongside Keyshia Cole and Adina Howard. The venue is reportedly owned and operated by the state. Odeleye and fellow #MuteRKelly co-founder Kenyette Tisha Barnes also questioned why the women performing with the singer. Cole hasn’t promoted the show on social media but Howard, the artist behind the 90s hit “Freak Like Me,” has in several posts on Instagram.
Can someone tell us why two black women – @KeyshiaCole and @adinahoward – are performing with documented sexual abuser of black women, @rkelly? There have got to be easier ways to make money than selling out your sisters. #MuteRKelly #Rkelly #KeyshiaCole #AdinaHoward #metoo pic.twitter.com/20alvo3P5H
— MuteRKelly-Official (@OffMuteRKelly) November 8, 2018
Mississippi State Fairgrounds Executive Director Steve Hutton said the state won’t stop the concert because the event is hosted by a third party promoter.
“The Mississippi Fair Commission is not hosting the event, but rather providing our public facility to a promoter who is hosting the event,” he said in a statement. “Being a public venue we don’t restrict the right of anyone to utilize our facilities.”