For the first time since advocating for the prosecution of Harvey Weinstein, the Time’s Up collective has singled out an alleged abuser: R&B star Robert Kelly. Women of Color of Time’s Up, a subcommittee of the larger group specifically organizing around issues that affect women and girls of color, released a statement this morning announcing their support of #MuteRKelly, an online campaign asking Live Nation and Sony Music to cancel R. Kelly’s tour dates and drop his recording contract. Women of Color of Time’s Up, which includes Ava DuVernay, Shonda Rimes, and Jurnee Smollett-Bell, are also asking other “corporations and venues,” including Kelly’s record label RCA Records, to cut ties with the singer. Over the course of nearly two decades, Kelly has been accused by multiple women of sexual misconduct, statutory rape, aggravated assault, and harassment. Journalist Jim DeRogatis at the Chicago Sun-Times first broke the story in 2000 that Kelly had been accused of statutory rape with girls as young as 15. Allegations against Kelly continued to surface, including a bombshell interview with DeRogatis in the Village Voice in 2013, but despite multiple lawsuits against him, the singer’s career remained relatively stable. Last summer, DeRogatis published yet another report in BuzzFeed that Kelly was holding very young women against their will in a “cult,” deciding things like what they wore and when they went to the bathroom. Although sexual assault convictions are difficult to come by in general — Bill Cosby was found guilty of sexual assault last week… [Read full story]
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