On Monday morning (April 30), the Women of Color committee of the Time’s Up organization announced that they would be joining the #MuteRKelly campaign.
According to The Grio, #MuteRKelly was created by Kenyette Barnes and Oronike Odeleye last year in response to the continued sexual assault allegations made against the singer. These accusations seem have had little to no effect on R. Kelly’s career. As with the current onslaught of sexual misconduct allegations against prominent men in the entertainment industry, the campaign calls for RCA Records and other companies to stop working with the 51-year-old artist.
“Today we join an existing online campaign called #MuteRKelly,” reads the letter from the committee posted exclusively on The Root. “Over the past 25 years, the man known publicly as R. Kelly has sold 60 million albums, toured the globe repeatedly and accumulated hundreds of millions of plays on radio and streaming services.” The campaign would like to see Apple Music, Spotify and Ticketmaster stop promoting Kelly’s music and concerts.
It is made clear in the letter the committee isn’t just calling for Kelly to lose his business dealings without proper investigation. “We demand 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.”
Director Ava DuVernay and singer John Legend took to Twitter to support the request of the organization.
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 #WOC pic.twitter.com/TYmDRVIH00
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) April 30, 2018
— John Legend (@johnlegend) April 30, 2018
The campaign has an online petition calling for Live Nation and Sony to part ways with Kelly. It has received 93 percent of the 70,000 signature goal. You can read the Women of Color/Time’s Up letter in full here.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.