The controversy surrounding R. Kelly and the numerous sexual abuse allegations over the years is heating up, and this time there are some major players involved.
Today (Apr. 30), the Time’s Up organization’s Women of Color committee announced the #MuteRKelly initiative, a new campaign to shut down R. Kelly’s music career with a goal of launching an investigation into his alleged sex allegations.
“To our fellow women of color,” reads the statement. “Together, we call on corporations and venues with ties to R. Kelly to join us and insist on safety and dignity for women of all kinds.”
The Women of Color committee includes director Ava DuVernay, television mogul Shonda Rhymes, and actress Jurnee Smollett-Bell. DuVernay addressed the initiative on Twitter, explaining the campaign’s initiatives.
“We join the call to #MuteRKelly and insist on the safety + dignity of all women,” she wrote. “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.” Shonda Rhimes also published the same statement on her Twitter account.
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
The #MuteRKelly movement is calling on R. Kelly’s record label, RCA Records, as well as streaming platforms like Spotify and Apple Music, and concert giant Ticketmaster, to drop him.
R&B music veteran John Legend co-signed the movement via his twitter account. “I stand with the women of #timesup,” he wrote. “#muterkelly.” Questlove also chimed in, adding, “Standing alongside the women and sisters in the LONG OVERDUE CANCELLATION of Rkelly. #TimesUp #MuteRKelly.”
— John Legend (@johnlegend) April 30, 2018
— T’Questlove (@questlove) April 30, 2018
A long list women have accused R. Kelly of sexual abusive over the last decade. In 2008, he was acquitted on 14 charges of making child pornography. This year, he was accused of keeping a 14-year-old girl as a sex “pet.” Last year, others accused him of underage sex, physical abuse, and keeping women in a cult-like environment. Kelly denied these allegations.
Read the full letter below: