UPDATE 3:25 P.M. EST: A statement from R. Kelly’s team has been released: “R. 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. We fully support the rights of women to be empowered to make their own choices. Time’s Up has neglected to speak with any of the women who welcome R. Kelly’s support, and it has rushed to judgment without the facts. 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. R. Kelly’s music is a part of American and African-American culture that should never├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥and will never├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥be silenced. Since America was born, black men and women have been lynched for having sex or for being accused of it.”
We keep hearing that men in power in Hollywood are afraid of “who’s next” in the Time’s Up movement. Near as we can tell, you only need to be worried if you’re a damn monster…
And the next monster they’re targeting is R. Kelly.
After years of allegations of sexual abuse of young women, the Women of Color of Time’s Up have had enough. And while they wait on the ever ponderous justice system, they’re going after his supporters.
Read their full statement (courtesy of The Root) AND see the celebrities standing in solidarity (below):
To Our Fellow Women of Color:
We see you. We hear you. Because we are you.
For too long, our community has ignored our pain. The pain we bear is a burden that too many women of color have had to bear for centuries. The wounds run deep.
As women of color within Time’s Up, we recognize that we have a responsibility to help right this wrong. We intend to shine a bright light on our WOC sisters in need. It is our hope that we will never feel ignored or silenced ever again.
The recent court decision against Bill Cosby is one step toward addressing these ills, but it is just a start. We call on people everywhere to join with us to insist on a world in which women of all kinds can pursue their dreams free from sexual assault, abuse and predatory behavior.
To this end, today we join an existing online campaign called #MuteRKelly.
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.
During this time, he also …
- -Married a girl under 18 years of age;
- -Was sued by at least four women for sexual misconduct, statutory rape, aggravated assault, unlawful restraint and furnishing illegal drugs to a minor;
- -Was indicted on 21 counts of child pornography;
- -Has faced allegations of sexual abuse and imprisonment of women under threats of violence and familial harm;
Together, we call on the following corporations and venues with ties to R. Kelly to join us and insist on safety and dignity for women of all kinds:
- RCA Records: the venerable music label currently produces and distributes R. Kelly’s music;
- Ticketmaster: the popular ticketing system is currently issuing tickets for R. Kelly’s show May 11;
- Spotify and Apple Music: the popular streaming platforms currently monetizing R. Kelly’s music;
- Greensboro Coliseum Complex: the North Carolina venue is currently hosting an R. Kelly concert May 11.
The scars of history make certain that we are not interested in persecuting anyone without just cause. 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. And we declare with great vigilance and a united voice to anyone who wants to silence us: Their time is up.
Together, We Are Strong,
WOC | TIME’S UP
See all the celebs standing with Time’s Up (below):
We join the call to #MuteRKelly and insist on the safety + dignity of all women. We demand investigations into R. Kelly├óΓé¼Γäós 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
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ Ava DuVernay (@ava) April 30, 2018
We join the campaign to #MuteRKelly. We’re calling on corporations to cut all ties with R. Kelly and insist on safety and dignity for women of all kinds. @RCARecords @Spotify @AppleMusic @Ticketmaster #MuteRKelly #TIMESUP #WOC pic.twitter.com/ON9EkbpumD
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ jurnee smollett (@jurneesmollett) April 30, 2018
Today we join the call to #MuteRKelly and insist on safety & dignity for all women. We demand appropriate investigations and inquiries into the allegations of R. Kelly├óΓé¼Γäós abuse made by women of color & their families for over two decades now. #WOC #TIMESUPhttps://t.co/CG7Y5ZmKyR
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ kerry washington (@kerrywashington) April 30, 2018
We join the call to #MuteRKelly and insist on the safety + dignity of all women. We demand investigations into R. Kelly├óΓé¼Γäós 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 https://t.co/RTco2ZeetZ
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ shonda rhimes (@shondarhimes) April 30, 2018
YES! As I├óΓé¼Γäóve said 1000x, R. Creepy has to GO. I├óΓé¼Γäóm not here for the discussions about “separating the man from his music.” I refuse to separate a man from his serial abuse of black women. BLACK WOMEN AND GIRLS ARE VALUABLE. #MuteRKelly #TIMESUP #WOC https://t.co/9TtfeV8DGB
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ Robin Thede (@robinthede) April 30, 2018
I stand with the women of color in @TIMESUPNOW in demanding an appropriate investigation and inquiry into the allegations of R. Kelly├óΓé¼Γäós abuse. Enough is enough. #MuteRKelly #TimesUp pic.twitter.com/9cO3u6JoHu
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ Amber Tamblyn (@ambertamblyn) April 30, 2018
I stand w/my sisters of Color w/in @TIMESUPNOW to #MuteRKelly “We demand appropriate investigations & inquiries into the allegations of R. Kelly├óΓé¼Γäós abuse made by WOC & their families for over 2 decades now.” https://t.co/9ytWQSciPz part 1
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ Mira Sorvino (@MiraSorvino) April 30, 2018
We demand appropriate investigations and inquiries into the allegations of R. Kelly├óΓé¼Γäós abuse. #MuteRKelly #TIMESUP pic.twitter.com/PYvTdIr6iv
├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) April 30, 2018
[Image via JLN Photography/WENN.]