‘Time’s Up’ sets sights on R.Kelly
A letter from a women of color committee within the Time’s Up movement has targeted R. Kelly, calling upon streaming services Spotify and Apple Music to stop hosting the artist’s music and asking RCA, Kelly’s label, to drop the artist in the response to continuous allegations that the singer runs a “sex cult” in one of his Atlanta homes.
The women of color committee at Time’s Up includes Ava DuVernay, Shonda Rhimes, and Jurnee Smollett-Bell, the latter of whom tells the AP “We stand linked with our sisters and will no longer tolerate the predatory behavior of R.Kelly to go unchecked.”
The recent campaign to #MuteRKelly has seen success as several of Kelly’s tour dates have been cancelled as a direct result of the Black woman run and centric efforts.
Vox recently published a timeline of R.Kelly’s long and sordid history of predatory behavior towards young Black girls stretching back to 1994 when he married a 15-year-old Aaliyah to the new allegations detailed by BuzzFeed in 2017.
The Time’s Up letter demands “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.”
Last Monday evening, R.Kelly’s team released a statement that called the campaign an “attempted public lynching.” Bizarrely enough, it also argued that “Kelly supports the pro-women 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… Since America was born, Black men and women have been lynched for having sex or for being accused of it.”
Last week, two more women came forward with more corroboration of the allegations against R.Kelly. Tarana Burke, the founder of the #MeToo movement, responded to Kelly and his team’s baseless accusations of a public lynching in an interview with NPR: “This is not a lynching, you know we are only a week out of the national monument to lynching being opened in Montgomery, Alabama and the history, and the reality of lynching in America is so, so painful and so real. This is not a public lynching. This is a call for accountability.”
The full letter posted to the official Time’s Up Instagram account