Time's Up Is Targeting R. Kelly As It Joins The Campaign #MuteRKelly
A campaign to boycott and "mute" R. Kelly is underway, led by Time's Up after multiple allegations against the singer came to light.
The R&B singer, who has been plagued with allegations of sexual misconduct throughout his career, made headlines again in March when his ex-girlfriend Kitti Jones revealed the singer used to keep underage "sex slaves" — who he called pets — with him.
An Open Letter To #MuteRKelly
In an official statement posted on The Root, Women of Color of Time's Up called out to women as well as corporations with ties to the R&B singer to join the call for justice.
The group pointed out that through the years, R. Kelly has married a girl under 18 years old, been indicted for child pornography, and been responsible for sexual abuse and imprisonment of women. The singer has also been sued at least four times for sexual misconduct and statutory rape, among others.
Companies that were specifically mentioned in the letter include RCA Records, Ticketmaster, Spotify, Apple Music, and Greensboro Coliseum Complex.
"The scars of history make certain that we are not interested in persecuting anyone without just cause," the letter read. "With that said, 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."
Women of Color of Time's Up is an organization within the greater Time's Up umbrella that's dedicated to issues particularly significant to females of color. Made up of women across different industries, the group is striving to create safe and equitable environments for all women.
R. Kelly Fires Back
R. Kelly released a statement recently saying he's "infuriated" and "heartbroken" at what's being said about him.
A representative for the singer also denied the allegations, saying that R.Kelly is supportive of the "pro-women goals" of Time's Up.
"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," his spokesperson says, pointing out that the Time's Up initiative did not talk to the women who welcome the singer's support.
The statement also implies that he is being targeted for his actions due to his color.
"Soon it will become clear Mr. Kelly is the target of a greedy, conscious and malicious conspiracy to demean him, his family and the women with whom he spends his time," the statement continued. "R. Kelly's music is a part of American and African-American culture that should never — and will never — be silenced. ... We will vigorously resist this attempted public lynching of a black man who has made extraordinary contributions to our culture."