Time's Up Launches Campaign to "Mute" R. Kelly

Time's Up Launches Campaign to "Mute" R. Kelly
Though he's yet to be convicted of anything, R&B star R. Kelly has had decades of sexual misconduct allegations levelled against him, from allegedly urinating on a minor to current claims that he's operating a sex cult. To insure that the public doesn't forget about these allegations, the Time's Up organization has launched an official campaign.

It is calling the campaign #MuteRKelly, and the organization is using the hashtag to call out Kelly for his alleged misdeeds. In an open letter, the Time's Up organization has demanded that companies like RCA Records, Ticketmaster, Spotify and Apple Music sever ties with the performer.

"The scars of history make certain that we are not interested in persecuting anyone without just cause," it writes. "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."

UPDATE (4/30, 5 p.m. EDT): R. Kelly's management has now issued a statement, and you can read it at the bottom of the page.

UPATE (5/7, 1 p.m. EDT): R. Kelly's management team has now said that the statement in response to the campaign did not in fact come from the artist's official channels. As such, the management team has denounced the statement made on behalf of R. Kelly found below.


Read the full open letter from Time's Up below, as first published on The Root.


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