On Monday (April 30th), 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.
“We demand appropriate investigations and inquiries into the allegations of R. Kelly’s abuse made by women and their families for more than two decades now,” their statement read. “And we declare with great vigilance and a united voice to anyone who wants to silence us – their time is up.”
The initiative didn’t sit well with R. Kelly’s manager, who blasted feminists attacking the R&B singer, insisting he’s on their side and a planned boycott of his music is “unjust.”
“R. Kelly supports the pro-women goals of the Time’s Up movement,” a statement reads. “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 will vigorously resist this attempted public lynching of a black man who has made extraordinary contributions to our culture.”
Kelly has been the subject of under-age sexual allegations for years, and was acquitted on child pornography charges in 2008, but last year the families of two women and several former associates accused him of coercing young women into becoming his sex pets. In a BBC documentary, a former girlfriend also alleged he had admitted grooming a 14-year-old girl. The 51-year-old singer has denied the claims.
The Time’s Up anti-harassment and equality organization’s Women of Color committee include director Ava DuVernay, TV mogul Shonda Rhimes and the actress Jurnee Smollett-Bell.