The #MeToo movement was spawned over a decade ago, re-emerging last year after several Hollywood honchos were exposed for various levels of sexual misconduct, from harassment to rape. Men including Russell Simmons and Kevin Spacey have been called out for their alleged indiscretions, while one artist seems to be doing just fine, even while sharing a similarly shady past.
A new social media hashtag, #MuteRKelly, has been created to call out the Pied Piper himself in an effort to end Kelly’s career after several years of allegations being brought against him from young women and their parents.
Oronike Odeleye, the Atlanta-based managing director of the Creative Currents Artist Collaborative, started the hashtag as a branch off of the #MeToo tree, hoping to eventually have the songwriter prosecuted for his alleged abuse, according to The Grio.
“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. More images and videos surface and more black girls are scarred for life just as they are coming into their womanhood and sexuality,” Odeleye shared with the site.
“There is a pariah in our community that we all know about, yet we all have continued to stand by and do nothing. We continue to dance to his music in the club, play it at our family reunions, celebrate to it at our weddings.”
“Someone had to stand up for Black women, and if I wasn’t willing to do my part—no matter how small—then I couldn’t continue to complain. It’s time for us to end this man’s career. Enough is beyond enough.”
So far, the #MuteRKelly movement has already had an impact, resulting in the cancellation of concerts in Baton Rouge, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Oklahoma City.
Check out a few supporters of #MuteRKelly below.
— XsquisitePain (@XsquisitePain) January 24, 2018
— #TeamMoNique (@SonofBaldwin) January 23, 2018
To emerging R&B, and hip-hop artists out there trying to make a name for yourself: STOP 👏COLLABORATING 👏 WITH 👏 R. 👏 KELLY… 👏! His marriage to 15 year old goddess #Aaliyah happened, and his pee tape is authenticated, y’all. #MuteRKelly
— Adam Martínez (@MadamAlexandro) January 25, 2018
I’m already here, sis. Been on the R. Kelly take down for YEARS. Other folks are catching up now. Fully support #MuteRKelly
— Tarana (@TaranaBurke) January 25, 2018
These are GIRLS! They are children. Why does that have to be explained to you! This man URINATED ON AN 8th GRADER and you have the nerve to say it’s HER FAULT!?! @WendyWilliams Have you ever talked to one of his victims?! #muteRKelly @metoo
— Tarana (@TaranaBurke) January 26, 2018
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Born and raised in Compton, California, Jessica Bennett began her career as an intern at The Oakland Post, and later, The Source Magazine. She went on to write for respected hip hop publications such as DJ Booth and Hip Hop DX before becoming the Urban Editor of pop culture website, Wetpaint.com. She joined Ebony as the Entertainment Editor August 2017. Bennett has interviewed such names as Vanessa Williams, Spike Lee, Tyra Banks, Forest Whitaker, Magic & Cookie Johnson and several others.