The Time’s Up movement is cornering R&B musician R. Kelly and soon he won’t be steppin’ in the name of love no more. Women of Color (WOC), a subcommittee within the organization that focuses on issues affecting women of color, released a statement (see below) today demanding “appropriate investigations and inquiries” in regards to R. Kelly’s history of abuse.
“The recent court decision against Bill Cosby is one step towards addressing these ills but it is just a start,” said the statement. “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.”
The statement adds, “To this end, today we join an existing online campaign called #MuteRKelly.”
The statement from WOC and Time’s Up also draws out all of Kelly’s accusations which includes marrying a minor, being sued by 4 women for sexual misconduct and being indicted on 21 counts of child pornography. The campaign calls for corporations such as Spotify, Apple Music, Ticketmaster, as well as Kelly’ record label RCA to cut ties with the musician.
Actors, activists and many others immediately took to Twitter with the #MuteRKelly hashtag, dragging the disgraced musician in hopes that Kelly would face the consequences of his alleged sexual misconduct.
“Today we join the call to #MuteRKelly and insist on safety & dignity for all women,” said Kerry Washington.
Tarana Burke, the founder of the #MeToo movement tweeted, “All, all, all in together girls… It’s going DOWN!! #muterkelly once and for all!” Janet Mock tweeted, “Black girls are more vital than a few bops & a cute beat. #MuteRKelly”
Mira Sorvino added “I stand with my sisters of color” while Jill Soloway said, “I support my siblings at #TIMESUP.”
The support came in droves and Twitter and social media timelines were flooded with #MuteRKelly. Ava DuVernay, Viola Davis, Shonda Rhimes, Viola Davis, Lupita Nyong’o, Constance Wu, Gloria Calderon Kellett, Jurnee Smollett and many more supported the campaign, making it gain momentum and hopefully results.
Read the tweets and the statements 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 towards 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 4 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 on May 11;
• Spotify and Apple Music – The popular streaming platforms currently monetizing R. Kelly’s music;
• Greensboro Coliseum Complex – The venue is currently hosting an R. Kelly concert on 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